By Leah Holloway
2020 was an apprehensive and uncertain time for many institutions, including the Augusta-Richmond County Public Library System (ARCPLS). The COVID-19 pandemic put the system’s six branches in a situation where their doors were closed to the public. This was a challenge the library system and many others had never faced before. Even with the buildings closed, the branches came together to meet and continue providing resources and programming for the community as safely as possible.
The pandemic shifted the way ARCPLS executed many tasks in the library. The library moved to curbside pickup services, created virtual programming for social media, and kicked off a new email marketing newsletter to inform patrons about library news.
The system eventually opened its doors to the public again but realized virtual programming would not disappear. It realized this was the future of libraries, and it was time to think outside the box. When formulating concepts to attract a younger audience, library staff Megan Williams and Georgina Lewis came up with starting a podcast. Podcasts have become another method of communication, entertainment, and education. They’ve been around for some time now but took off during the pandemic. Megan and Georgina launched the library podcast series What’s the FIC? in August 2021.
The podcast covers many topics, such as literature that influenced media, gaming, education, anime and manga discussion, and special guest interviews. Hosts Georgina and Megan wanted to give the community a different outlet and connect with potential library users in a modern-day format.
They were able to create a podcast by using the platform Anchor. Anchor is a free, beginner-friendly platform for podcast creation. It contains tools that allow users to record and edit audio, arrange it into podcast episodes, publish podcasts to listening platforms, and monetize content by collecting listener contributions or adding advertisements into episodes. It also allows you to stream through Apple Podcasts and Spotify to strengthen your listenership. With two Blue Snowball iCE USB microphones and Adobe Audition to edit sound quality, What’s the FIC? is available for podcast fans to listen to worldwide.
Megan and Georgina recently finished their ninth episode with plans to return in February 2022. Their most successful show was their anime discussion of the popular manga Fruits Basket. They are looking forward to creating more episodes in the future.
“We hope you will join us on our podcast adventures! We would love to hear from you as we cover our topics, like if the book was better than the TV show or movie, share laughs over memorable library moments, how gaming and libraries go together, and all the wonderful things going on here at ARCPLS,” says Georgina.
If you would like to tune in and listen to What’s the FIC?, go to https://arcpls.org/whats-the-fic-a-library-podcast/.
To learn more about the Augusta-Richmond County Public Library System (ARCPLS), go to https://arcpls.org/.