Truth: I have a terrible listening attention span. I know this to be true because this blog post has been TWO YEARS in the making. I can read for hours, but I find it hard to do anything at the same time as listening intently. It is a skill I am working on!
Podcasts have exploded in popularity and despite my listening challenges I have found them to be a great source of education and inspiration. This post features my top picks for anyone serving children in public libraries. Because there are a gazillion book and library themed podcasts I kept a pretty strict focus for this list. If you are looking for more general podcasts check out these articles:
- 13 Must-Hear Librarian Podcasts
- Book and Library-related Podcasts
- 18 Excellent Podcasts for Librarians
I focused on podcasts that are (mostly) active, but there are some wonderful archived podcasts out there like Zero to Three’s Little Kids, Big Questions and The Early Childhood Research Podcast. I’ve broken down my choices into categories – please let me know if I missed any of your favourites!
Storytime and Programming
Little Learners Storytime Podcast
Launched in 2021 by Orem Public Library, Miss Amy brings songs, stories, and early literacy ideas for preschoolers and their caregivers on the 2nd Wednesday of each month. Excellent use of sound effects, intentional pauses, and vocal intonation. Listen for storytime ideas and podcast inspiration.
Storytime Out Loud
Children’s Librarians Lauren and Christy share all sorts of storytime and pop culture goodies. It’s like sitting down with friends and planning storytime but also talking about other cool stuff you’re into. They share their show notes (which are very IG friendly!) on their website. Hoping they come back with new episodes this year!
Storytime Seedlings Podcast
Join Children’s Librarian Lauren from the Santa Clara County Library District for “an educational program focused on early literacy development for children from newborn to five years old.” I love how she lists read-alikes and extension activities for each episode on their website.
School Librarians United
These folks cover a range of topics in K -12 education we can learn from! How to book talk, how to move towards inquiry based learning, how to run an anime club, and more. If you want to partner with your schools, get to know their lingo and pressing issues. We have a lot to learn from each other.
Here Wee Read
Charnaie Gordon of the blog Here Wee Read hosts this podcast that features diverse and inclusive books for kids and adults. Excellent author and illustrator interviews plus the latest news and reviews to keep you on the up and up.
“In-depth interviews with children’s book authors and illustrators for people who believe that art and literature can have a profoundly positive impact on a kid’s life.” Learn the stories behind the books. I love taking these tidbits back with me to the library to share with kids and caregivers. I first learned about this podcast through All the Wonders but it looks like their other podcasts are no longer active.
Travis Jonker and Colby Sharp of SLJ fame interview children’s literature authors and illustrators about their latest creations. A great place to go to hear the inside scoop of future award winners.
Publishers Weekly Kids Cast
Hear from up and coming children’s and YA authors and illustrators! Ranging about 15 – 20 minutes long these are the perfect thing to listen to on a break or walk home. After being on a break for almost a year, new episodes started again in July.
If you work with teens in any capacity, this is a must listen. Stay up to date on the trends in YA literature and learn about some great books, new and old, to recommend to teens.
Honestly, they had me at Librarian Fight Club. Join these three ladies as they “pick apart picture books they love, hate, or just find interesting.” They also “dig deep into issues of, diversity in children’s books, early literacy, publishing, using picture books for social justice and, much more.” Most episodes are about 30 minutes, my favourite length.
Preschool and Early Childhood Education
Not Just Cute
One of my favourite ways to stay current in the ECE world is listening to this one. Amanda Morgan shares current research that can be applied to the library and beyond. Her guests are educated and I learn about so many new books. Highly recommended.
The Preschool Podcast
Aimed at early childhood educators, this podcast provides insight and inspiration for running a child care. What a great way for children’s librarians to stay in-the-know about emerging topics around caring for young children. I also learned HiMama offers free webinars for ECEs!
The Everything ECE Podcast
Started in 2020, this podcast is the perfect way to stay in tune with the early childhood community. Most of the episodes are short – less than 10 minutes – so easy to listen to on a coffee break. Bonus points for being Canadian!
Produced by the Center for Inclusive Child Care, this podcast is aimed at ECEs looking for information about early intervention, children’s mental health, challenging behaviour, and of course, inclusion. Some of the episodes are in Somali, a rare find indeed.
Teaching With the Body in Mind
Join Mike, Tom, Ross, and Joey as they “reflect on the connection between moving and thinking.” They tackle subjects related to the mind/body connection, but also delve into early childhood culture. Very conversational and thought provoking.
That Early Childhood Nerd
If you want an extensive collection of deep dives into the pressing issues of the early learning world, this one is for you. Host Heather Bernt-Sant covers high interest topics to ECEs, but also asks questions that promote critically thinking about the future of the field.
Child Development and Parenting
Read Aloud Revival
This podcast by a homeschooling mom covers all things literacy related. I love that it includes topics related to school-age kids and teens. You’ll get lots of great book recommendations in addition to tips and tricks for encouraging readers of all ages.
Reach Out & Read
The host Dr. Dipesh Navsaria is a pediatrician with an MLIS. Talk about well qualified! This podcast centers on the “belief that children’s books build better brains, better family relationships, and happier, healthy children and societies. Many different early childhood health and literacy topics are explored. A consistent 30 minutes of enlightenment.
Your Parenting Mojo
This podcast gets me so pumped! Includes “information about parenting and child development grounded in scientific research.” Lots of episodes about anti-racism and social emotional learning in little ones. Respectful parenting model is at the forefront.
The Brain Architects
From the Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University, this podcast “focuses on the specific, practical questions that often arise for parents and caregivers during the critically important period of early childhood.” Lots of great on the impact of Covid-19 on kids and families.
Learn with Less
Formally known as Strength in Words, this podcast by speech language pathologist Ayelet Marinovich gives caregivers ideas for songs and play that support infant and toddler development. I like the variety of guest speakers and practical suggestions. Lots we can use in storytime and beyond!
Unruffled by Janet Lansbury
Lansbury answers parenting questions using the method of respectful parenting developed by early childhood educator Magda Gerber. She is clear and concise, and I love that her answers center the child as a human worthy of respect. I browse the episodes for topics of interest and it has helped me see the world through a child’s eyes
Parenting Beyond Discipline
A parent-led podcast that covers a wide range of topics, mostly about infants and toddlers. Pick up good tips to share in conversations with caregivers or recommend it to anyone wanting guidance on positive reinforcement.
What are your favourite podcasts? Please share in the comments!