Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Listen Up! Thinks and Burns with Fink and Byrne

A new podcast has hit the library scene called Thinks and Burns with Fink and Byrne. It’s a library technology focused podcast hosted by the delightfully quirky John Fink of McMaster University, and Gillian Byrne from Ryerson University. Apparently the pair has threatened the library world with podcast promises in the past, and Episode 00 / pilot delivers.

They open up with some testing and laughing – this is an unedited pilot, after all – and about 10 minutes in the meat starts. The pilot episode touches on cataloguing and ILS issues, questions about the kinks in library education and new librarianship, and the role of liaison librarians. One piece that really stuck with me was the conversation surrounding library schools teaching to tools instead of teaching concepts, which is a practice that Fink states is lazy. Byrne also talks about mobility in finding work right after library school, and the problematic expectation for new graduates to upheave their lives to take good jobs far away from where they have established their lives. I think this is a topic that a lot of transplanted librarians in Calgary will be able to relate to. Finally, the pair moves on to talk about expectations of liaison librarians, which is a topic that is so hot it can put the proverbial dragon on retirement.

Do you think this is a lot of topics for a one-hour podcast? The pair sort of agrees, and makes mention of the wealth of topics they touch on in the pilot. I think the conversation was fluid and seamless, so the breadth of content wasn’t overwhelming.

You should really listen to the podcast! The language and content is accessible to technologists and non-technologists alike, and had a jovial, fun flavor that is incredibly engaging. You can find Thinks and Burns on Twitter @thinksandburns, and online at thinksandburns.info.

Catelynne Sahadath (@metacatie) is the interim Head of Metadata Development at the University of Calgary. She currently serves as the FLA’s Member-At-Large.