However, as I mentioned in this post back in 2017, we need to stop making excuses and start doing podcast RA. Why? Because as podcasts keep gaining in popularity, it is becoming much easier to move people from their favorite podcast into an audiobook.
Lists have begun popping up that create audiobook listen-alike lists for favorite podcasts. And with podcasts that featuring fiction [especially genre fiction] and narrative nonfiction, there are audiobook suggestions for all kinds of readers.
For example, here is an article from Library Journal which discusses the trend and provides a detailed listen-alike list for a handful of popular podcasts on a wide variety of topics. I really like the list for its breadth.
Also, the Chicago Public Library has 2 "podcast pairings" listen-alike posts which you can access here.
And some libraries have just embraced podcasts and use their popularity to draw patrons to their resources in general like Toledo Lucas County [OH] Public Library.
Now these are all more traditional RA services, providing "alike" options to readers, watchers, listeners, etc.... to remind them that they can extend their enjoyment beyond 1 specific item with many more through the library.
However, there are other ways we can engage podcast listeners and I am starting to see Book Riot catch on with the articles they are posting using the tag #PODCASTS. Here are some recent examples that I LOVE:
- Bookish Podcasts That Will Help You Pick Your Next Read
- 10 Podcasts to Listen To When You Are in A Reading Slump
These lists provide more than an "alike," they use podcasts to help with your overall reading life.
I think we can learn from this "next level" of service being modeled by Book Riot. These pieces provide a bridge between podcast listening on a non-library platform and increased consumption of leisure reading and listening materials that you can get through the library. It is responsive to our patrons in a different way than our reflexive "alike" lists.
Don't get me wrong, I LOVE making read and listen alike lists. They are an invaluable part of our service to our leisure reading patrons. But, it is not the be all and end all of what we can do.
Let's think outside the shelf a bit more, especially when working with podcast listeners since it is already an untraditional model.
Start by using the Book Riot lists to make displays and pass on to your patrons via social media. Then think about how you will bridge the gap between your podcast devouring patrons and your library holdings. The possibilities are infinite [because the number of podcasts are close to that].