Podcasts to Complement the Collaborative Summer Library Program Theme, “Oceans of Possibilities" | Kidcasts

Summer is a great time for kids to listen to podcasts, and libraries can direct them to ones they will enjoy.

Kidcasts logo with ocean life graphicSummer library programs offer a great opportunity to guide students toward podcasts they’ll enjoy. Some libraries add comprehensive and annotated lists to their websites, while others place embedded audio playlists in their summer reading program software.

Connecting families to kidcast playlists this summer through your website, newsletter, and/or social media channels can engage kids and families in your community with great screen-free content.

This year’s summer playlists include an ocean of podcasts in line with this year’s Collaborative Summer Library Program theme, “Oceans of Possibilities." We have crossed genres and audio styles to bring a range of podcasts to fit different age ranges and needs.

Within the three playlists, listeners will, of course, hear interesting facts about underwater animals. But they will also be exposed to a wide variety of themes, from saving the planet to meditation to history to fantastical tales and beyond.

The chosen podcasts have a range of pacing and audio production styles to suit different moods and parts of their day. The playlists are free and can be embedded in your website, newsletters, summer reading program software, and promotions, as well as linked in library communications, emails, or social media.

An Ocean of Listening: Elementary 

19 Episodes

This playlist includes a range of podcast episodes about oceans, from the mythical to the factual. From among the podcasts on the list, listeners can discover facts about sea creatures and age-appropriate discussions of plastic pollution with Tumble and Cool Facts About Animals. Relax to the soothing sounds of the sea waves with Peace Out. Explore the world of underwater stories with Circle Round. And get fantastical with The Adventures of Power Dog in Dogland and Mary Farisa.

An Ocean of Listening: Middle School

14 Episodes

This playlist keeps the animal facts coming at an age-appropriate level for middle schoolers. Listeners can hone their sea creature debate skills with Smash Boom Best; hear straight from scientists and animal experts about the ocean and how we can save it; reconsider their view of The Little Mermaid with Revisionist History; get a dose of aquatic history with The Past and the Curious; add a dash of spookiness with Unspookable; and more.

An Ocean of Listening: High School 

15 Episodes

This playlist gives a deeper dive into all things oceanography. High school students can learn about bioluminescence with a marine biologist and deep ocean exploration with an oceanographer with Conversations and BBC Inside Science. Explore the wrecks of ships that carried enslaved Africans to the Americas with Overheard at National Geographic. And listen to more stories with Myths and Legends and Lore. Plus, many other episodes to explore.

Accessing and Sharing Playlists

Listen Notes (listennotes.com) searches across a broad range of podcasts to help build a playlist spanning fictional stories, science, history, biographies, music, and more. Create a multidisciplinary playlist based on a topic and share it with students and patrons, and their families, so they can listen anytime, anywhere.

How to Listen Later

Listen Notes allows keyword searching to build podcast playlists you can save using the Listen Later (listennotes.com/listen) website tool, which librarians can use to share public playlist links. Listen Later allows others to tune in from their desktops by sharing, or they can export their playlists for on-the-go listening. When others “subscribe” to a curated playlist, it allows the RSS feed to be copied, so they can paste it into a mobile podcast app.

Here are simple steps to export a playlist from Listen Later:

1. Click on the playlist link on the web in the smartphone browser.

2. Click on the “subscribe” button.

3. Select the mobile app used to listen to podcasts.

4. The list will appear under the list of podcasts.

Subscribers do not have to download episodes to listen to the playlists. They can play the podcasts anywhere with internet access. n

Phoebe Owens is a freelance librarian/archivist and writer, and co-creator of the podcast The Adventures of Power Dog in Dogland. Ali Wilkinson is a nonprofit attorney, writer, and co-creator of the podcast Cool Facts About Animals.

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