LwL Episode 45: Jo Wood on Calon Talks Books

Episode 45 of the Librarians with Lives podcast is a little different to the norm, as I was a guest on Paul Jeorrett’s radio show – Calon Talks Books on Calon FM in Wrexham on 10th October 2018 and I’ve been given permission to release a music-free version of the show.

The story of how I met Paul is outlined in the previous post. We arranged a date for me to go up to Wrexham and be on the show and on the agreed date Paul met me from Wrexham General Station, made sure I checked into my hotel (he chatted to the reception staff while I got settled), took me for a hot chocolate, gave me a tour of Wrexham and it’s public and university libraries (where EVERYONE knew him, and he knew everyone), recorded a brilliant episode of LwL (Episode 44), allowed me to choose the music on his show, and he and the lovely show regulars (Gwyn and Rob) took me out for dinner afterwards. Seriously, Paul is one of the nicest men on the planet.

I can’t begin to explain how much fun I had on the show. I agonised for ages over the music selections. Paul said I could choose ‘anything’, but I didn’t want to push the show’s boundaries too much. In the end I chose 6 songs. Five made it on to the show, only because no. 6 – Music Sounds Better with You by Stardust – isn’t available on any streaming services. I put my choices into a Spotify Playlist, in case you want to hear them. No, I didn’t choose Steps. No, I didn’t choose George Michael.

Much of the discussion on the show was themed around Libraries Week, World Mental Health Day, podcasting and, inevitably, books. The latter was a bit of an issue for me because I haven’t been able to read any ‘proper’ fiction since 2016. Instead I talked about Matt Haig, the Apollo Space program, Sarah Millican, and Jay Rayner. Paul was a generous host, and Gwyn and Rob were absolutely lovely.

I decided I couldn’t replicate the fun I’d had on last year’s Christmas Special, so I haven’t attempted the same feat this year. I’ve recorded more than 30 episodes since then. To say it would have been unruly would be an understatement…

LwL is having an extended break over the Christmas period, but will be back in January. Have an excellent, peaceful break and I’ll see you in 2019.

Happy listening!

LwL Podcast Episode 44: Paul Jeorrett

In Episode 44 of the Librarians with Lives podcast I chat to Paul Jeorrett, until very recently Chair of CILIP Cymru Wales. Paul retired from his role at Wrexham Glyndwr University at the end of 2017.

I met Paul at the CILIP Cymru Wales conference, which was held at Aberystwyth University in May 2018. I delivered a plenary presentation at the conference, which was probably one of my highlights of my entire professional career. I’ve done some great stuff since, but Aber will always be special.

Just before my presentation Paul popped over for a chat with me and apologised in advance because he was master of ceremonies at the evening reception, so thought he might need to dash off part-way through to prepare. When I finished speaking Paul was one of the first people to come over and congratulate me on my presentation. We had a “You stayed!” “I couldn’t leave!” conversation and he asked if I’d ever done any live radio. Why yes, I used to co-present a (terrible, but I wasn’t telling him that) student radio show in Reading. Paul asked if I’d consider being a guest on his radio show. He’s an extremely nice man. I suspect he asks a lot of people and normally they politely turn him down but not me. No way. You’ll hear the results of that in the next episode, which is a music-free version of the radio show I guested on in October 2018.

Paul worked at ZSL London Zoo Library early in his career, and after hearing their episode he got in contact with them and actually visited his old workplace in the summer. That was a ‘I did that!’ lovely moment for me.

The next episode will be the radio show recording, and then I’m having an extended break over Christmas because why the heck not? LwL proper will be back on Tuesday 8th January and will feature Ellie Downes.

Happy listening!

LwL Podcast Episode 43: Sally Walker

In Episode 43 of the Librarians with Lives podcast I chat to Sally Walker, Children’s Librarian in Orkney and CILIPS Library and Information Professional of the Year 2017.

Sally and I first met at the CILIP Conference in Brighton in July, where she delivered one of the keynote presentations. During her talk I tweeted CILIPS and asked them if they could help me get Sally on the podcast.

After delivering her kick-ass talk, Mike Jones and I were shocked when Sally came along to our networking workshop. While we emphasise the fact that the workshop is for everyone, it tends to attract new/trainee info pros/library workers. We didn’t expect one of the keynote speakers to come along and confess that they found professional events extremely daunting.

Since then Sally and I have become friends [One of the lovely benefits of doing the podcast is that I’ve met so many people that I now class as friends as a result of interviewing them. Sally is definitely in this category.] and we recorded this episode over Skype audio in September. Again, apologies for the quality of the recording. My ancient desktop computer (RIP) was definitely on the way out and the sound quality isn’t great. I’ve cleaned it up as much as I can and it’s absolutely worth listening to.

I haven’t quite decided which episode I’m going to release next. I have a few episodes banked and ready to go so it’s just a case of choosing one…

Happy listening!



LwL Podcast Episode 42: Strictly Musicals Side-special.

It’s side-special time! In Episode 42 of the Librarians with Lives podcast I chat to Clare McCluskey Dean, star of Episode 3 of LwL about our mutual love of all things Strictly Come Dancing, and musical theatre. It’s very fun, silly and sparkly and is the perfect antidote to the extremely intense period I’ve had recently of speaking at conferences and events, managing my anxiety, and much more. Clare is coming towards the end of the busiest period of her year and a house move. We were both in need of some daftness.

We recorded this episode on 12th November over Skype Audio. Two episodes of Strictly will have gone out between the day of recording and time of release of this episode, so I’ve removed anything that might resemble predictions, gossip and/or speculation. In terms of the musical theatre content, our opinions are very much our own and shouldn’t be treated as reviews. We know what we like (and don’t like) and get passionate about it, but in a nice way. We mention Clare’s theatre ramblings blog, which can be found here.

I have put together a playlist of the music and musicals we refer to, which is here.

Normal Librarians with Lives service resumes next week with the wonderful Sally Walker.

Keeeeeeeep listening!


LwL Podcast Episode 41: Lynsey Sampson

In Episode 41 of the Librarians with Lives podcast I chat to Lynsey Sampson, Information Services Assistant at the University of Strathclyde.

Lynsey previously worked in public libraries and a mental health service. We discuss CPD, getting bursaries, attending conferences, and visiting libraries abroad. Lynsey’s answer for the dream library job question is excellent and entirely unexpected… #GetOuttaMyPub

I met Lynsey in person at the CILIP Conference in July and she kindly provided one of the soundbites for the conference special. Lynsey blogged about her conference experience here.

I need to apologise for the sound quality in this episode, which was recorded via Skype audio in September. I’ve cleaned it up as much as I can and we both sound significantly less like we did the recording in a public toilet now. You think *this* is a FUBAR? Well, have I got a story for YOU early next year…

The next episode will be released on 27th November and is an extremely sparkly, jazz hands side-special featuring Clare McCluskey Dean, star of Episode 3 of LwL.

LwL Podcast Episode 40: Phil Gorman

In Episode 40 of the Librarians with Lives podcast I chat to Phil Gorman, Technical Services Librarian at the House of Commons Library about working in law libraries, implementing Library Management Systems, the pain of combining a full-time job with studying for a library qualification, drifting in and out of CPD activities, attending conferences, the amazingness that is the House of Commons Library open day (I’m a fan) and whether Chartership is really worth the bother.

Phil won extra brownie points for actually coming to visit ME to record the interview back in September, a #LwLPod first. Take note, interested future interviewees. My campaign to get Phil to register for Chartership has, thus far, been unsuccessful…

You can find the Commons Library website here and Phil also blogs here

The next episode will be released on 20th November and features Lynsey Sampson.

Happy listening!

Librarians with Lives at #ILI2018

I’m incredibly excited to announce that I have teamed up with Information Today and ILI: The Library Innovation Conference to bring you a special set of podcasts to introduce the event, celebrate 20 years of ILI, and speak to some of the key players involved.

I delivered a talk on Day 2 on Live, Love Librarian: the power of the podcast and I recorded an episode of LwL at the conference, similar to the episode I produced at #CILIPConf18 in July.

#LwLPod at #ILI2018 Episode 1 features Kat Allen, Brian Kelly, Alison McNab and Helen Lippell. Kat, Brian and Alison have been involved with ILI for many years and they are ideally placed to introduce the conference, reflect on the changes and innovations that they’ve seen over the years, highlight their must-sees, and offer advice to delegates. Helen is in charge of the Taxonomy Bootcamp, which runs alongside ILI.

This episode is a great introduction to the event for new and returning delegates and speakers. It also amplifies ILI to those who can’t attend the conference but want to follow along on social media.

Brian has written a blogpost reflecting on 20 years of ILI and Alison has written some helpful guidance for delegates to help them get the most out of attending conferences.

#LwLPod at #ILI2018 Episode 2 features Martin Hamilton, Futurist at JISC and Day 2 keynote speaker at the conference. Martin provides a (reasonably) spoiler-free introduction to his presentation and from there we have a wide-ranging chat about technology, the future of data storage, big ideas, space travel, billionaires doing mad things, etc.

#LwLPod at #ILI2018 Episode 3 features Hal Kirkwood and Natasha Chowdory, both of whom spoke on day 1 of the conference.

#LwLPod at #ILI2018 Episode 4 is the all-singing, all-dancing conference and Taxonomy Bootcamp special, featuring 50 delegates, speakers, vendors and organisers.

Happy listening!

LwL Podcast Episode 39: Angus MacDonald

In Episode 39 of the Librarians with Lives podcast I chat to Angus MacDonald, web and digital manager at CILIP, who is also a qualified information professional. He worked briefly in libraries before moving into roles at a start-up and an advertising agency. We discuss developments at CILIP, engaging with members, and whether Mad Men accurately portrays what it’s like to work in advertising…

Happy listening!

LwL Podcast Episode 38: Leah Rosenblum Emary

In Episode 38 of the Librarians with Lives podcast I chat to Leah Rosenblum Emary, who has worked in various types of libraries in California, Brussels, and Berlin but has found a happy niche in UK academic libraries for the past 5 years. She currently works as liaison librarian for the School of Media and Communications at the University of Sunderland.

Next week’s episode features Angus MacDonald from CILIP.

Happy listening!