Last year we started a podcast. Simple, right? Well, sort of. The basic idea was this: library and information science research is far less known (and utilized) than it should be. By practitioners, by journalists, and by the general public. We think we can make a small difference by talking with LIS researchers and helping them explain why their work matters.
“So What?” is created and produced by graduate students at the Faculty of Information and Media Studies (FIMS), Western University. We are still at the early stages. Our goal is to highlight LIS research nationally and internationally, but we’ve started locally.
Episodes have featured stories on LGBTQ picture books, aging and death, the Canadian Federation of Library Associations, the importance of reading for pleasure, cataloguing games, truth and reconciliation in libraries, internet trolling, and inclusive design.
From the start the idea was to make this project a place to learn. While some of us had podcasting and radio experience, for most it was entirely new. We encouraged everyone to explore their interests, to learn at their own pace, to participate as they had time, to take as much responsibility or as little as they wished, and to produce an entire episode themselves or assist on one lead by others. Low floor, high ceiling.
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Have a story to tell about your LIS research? Send us a note (sowhat at uwo.ca).
Many people have contributed to the success of the podcast, but two people deserve special mention: kirstyn seanor and Alex Mayhew (both LIS PhD students at FIMS). Alex has interviewed and edited, organized and promoted, and generally done whatever it takes to support the project. kirstyn is the guiding light of the project. Her vision for “So What?” as a platform for learning and as an inclusive, welcoming project has shaped the essence of what we do. Both amazing people.
So many people to thank for their assistance, participation, support, and encouragement: Paul Buckley-Golder, Jacquie Burkell, Erin Carroll, Yimin Chen, Nicole Ciccaglione, Marni Harrington, Mackenzie Johnson, Karolina Kayko, Charlotte McClellan, Cal Murgu, Jamie Lee Oliver, Lynn Ridley, Connor Spearman, and Kendall Sturgeon.
And a personal thanks to Kelly Jones who showed me how to make good radio and to my father, Jack Ridley, who was a highly recognized amateur radio enthusiast. If only I’d listened more to him. Kids eh?