Your Family, Your Library: New Podcast for Parents

Katie and Caitlin are sitting a table in the Kids Room, laughing. They are facing each other, wearing headphones, and speaking into microphones.

We launched a podcast called Your Family, Your Library in the spring. Two of our youth librarians chat about their experiences as parents and recommend library resources for caregivers looking for support. They are ably supported by our behind-the-scenes staff, Amber and Paul. We asked our cohosts to share their thoughts about the podcast, and we hope you enjoy both their responses here and listening to the podcast.

What do you most enjoy about making the podcast?

Katie: I love the collaboration that is involved—not only with my superstar costar Caitlin, but also with Amber, our producer, and Paul, our sound engineer. We make a great team!

Caitlin: Katie and I have an easy friendship and chemistry that make what could be (and often is!) very complicated feel not just easy, but joyful.

How do you come up with the ideas for each episode?

Caitlin: Katie and I are both parents, and most of what we talk about is pretty universal to that experience. We talk with patrons about what they’re experiencing, and a lot of the time, it’s either what we are also currently experiencing as parents or something that we’ve recently been through. It turns out that parenting is not that easy! And a lot of the time it’s pretty ridiculous.

Katie: The four of us brainstorm the episode topics. Each person brings a unique perspective to the podcast and that's what we want to showcase to our listeners.

Amber, Katie, Caitlin, and Paul are seated around a table talking. Katie is gesturing.

How does the podcast fit in with the rest of your job?

Caitlin: Quite naturally! Part of being a good children’s librarian is keeping an eye on shifts and trends in parenting, pedagogy, and general child development. We spend time talking to patrons who are looking to us for resources and, often, commiseration. We have lots of both!

Katie: I learn a lot from our patrons by listening to what they are looking for or wanting more of from our library. And, chances are, if one person is eager for more of something, then many people are.

What has surprised you so far about producing the podcast?

Caitlin: How naturally and how quickly it comes together! I knew our team was going to work together really well, but I didn’t expect it to happen as fast as it did. 

Katie: I am surprised by how easily the conversation has flowed. I still definitely have some nerves before recording, but they always quickly melt away once Caitlin and I get the conversation going. We have a special rapport, and I believe that it comes through in our conversations.

What would you like listeners to know about you?

Katie: I love being a mom and a librarian—I hope this is evident, but it can never be said enough. 

Caitlin: That we are not experts! Just parents working alongside the rest of the parents out there who are doing their best at shuffling through the goo.

Have any patrons mentioned the podcast to you?

Caitlin: Yes! A parent in the community told me that they found us from the library’s regular email update, and they were really impressed at how professional it sounded. They commented on how cool the library was for hosting it.

Katie: We received an email from a listener that was super cool! It makes it feel like we are not just sending our voices into the void. We also have a few 5-star ratings on Apple podcasts that can't be Caitlin or I and our husbands, so that is also reassuring.

Katie and Caitlin seated at a table in the Kids Room. We see the back of Caitlin's head. Katie is looking upward.

What else would you like people to know about the podcast?

Caitlin: We want people to interact with us! Tell us what you’re interested in hearing about. Let us know you’re listening. 

Katie: I feel really proud of the work we have done so far and excited by what we can do as we get more episodes out into the world. 

What’s a favorite book that you find yourself recommending to families these days?

Katie: One of my favorite recent picture books is Farmhouse by Sophie Blackall. It is on our Breezy Summer Reads list this year. It is a beautiful work of historical fiction, but also fun to gaze at the amazing illustrations. You cannot go wrong with anything by Sophie Blackall. Her book Hello, Lighthouse is another favorite of my kids. We have our own well-worn copy at home. 

Caitlin: It totally depends on the kid/family and their specific request. My absolute favorite books to recommend are ones that also make excellent family read-alouds. There are so many benefits to sharing a book in this way—even, and maybe even especially—with school-aged kids. The Wild Robot by Peter Brown is pretty nearly perfect. It’s an excellent robot/nature adventure, but it’s also a beautiful story about what it means to be a mother and a caretaker.

What are you currently reading/watching/listening to?

Caitlin: I’m always reading (usually via audiobook), and it’s usually something for kids or something scary for grown-ups. Right now I’m listening to The Perfectionist’s Guide to Losing Control by Katherine Morgan Schafler—I’m a “Parisian Perfectionist with Procrastinator Edges.” I’m also really enjoying the podcast If Books Could Kill. I’d listen to Michael Hobbs tell me anything. 

Katie: I have been thinking a lot about climate change and its effects on me, my family, and my kids’ future—everyone’s future! I listened to an episode of the podcast The Gray Area with Sean Illing called “Parenting Through the Climate Crisis.” The episode features the author Elizabeth Cripps whose book Parenting on Earth: A Philosopher's Guide to Doing Right by Your Kids and Everyone Else is now on my to-read list.

Listen to our podcast on your favorite podcatcher and join the conversation.