Published on October 5th, 2020 | by TLV News0
University of Mississippi Libraries Launches ‘Roundabout Oxford’ Podcast
Monthly series highlights staff’s interests, explores facets of life at university and in the community
In an effort to inform and entertain area listeners about campus life and beyond, staff in the University of Mississippi Libraries has launched a monthly podcast series.
The hourlong program is called “Roundabout Oxford.” Hosted on eGrove, the libraries’ digital archive, the podcast can be accessed at https://egrove.olemiss.edu/roundaboutoxford/.
Organizers of the podcasts are Christina Streeter, library manager; Abigail Norris, digital initiatives librarian and assistant professor; and Alex Watson, research and instruction librarian and associate professor. Brian Corrigan, a library specialist, and Taylor Fields, a junior integrated marketing communications major from Aberdeen who works as a student assistant in library marketing, are editors of the program.
“We played around with the (podcast) idea in fall of 2019 and circled back around to it in April of 2020,” Streeter said. ” I thought a podcast would be a great way to promote not only what we do within the library, but to showcase our campus and the Oxford community.”
Streeter presented the podcast proposal to Cecilia Botero, UM library dean, who responded enthusiastically.
“I knew there were a few podcasts getting started around campus, but those seemed rather focused on specific topics or subjects,” Botero said. “Podcasting is fairly new to all of us. We are open to trying out some new ways of telling stories.”
Having received the dean’s approval, Streeter and her production team moved forward with the idea.
“I put out a call to see if other library employees would be interested in helping, and several volunteered to assist in recording and production,” she said. “We are starting to get our student assistants involved because it is a good skill for them to learn; but also, it is important to include the students in the work we do.”
To make each podcast, the team brainstorms a broader topic for the episode. They discuss potential guests and contact Ole Miss departments and community leaders to request interviews.
“Interviews generally last about 30 minutes,” Streeter said. “We record these on Zoom, upload the audio portion into an editing software. Some of our team are interested in music mixing and create original pieces for segues between stories.
“We also have to write narratives for the intro and conclusion of the podcast, and those are recorded and edited into the master recording.”
The first episode focused on music and musicians, past and present. Watson spoke with Greg Johnson, UM blues curator, about the library’s renowned Blues Archive, which includes thousands of recordings, posters and other memorabilia.
Streeter spoke with Selim Giray, UM professor of music and director of orchestral studies, about learning and practicing skills outside of music, such as electronics, sculpting and woodworking. Watson and Norris discussed public domain sheet music.
“Future episodes include discussion on food, including local food sourcing, food insecurity and Southern food/culture,” Streeter said. “We are about to record our episode for October which delves into the unnatural and unknown. I’ll be speaking with a local filmmaker who adapted a Stephen King short story.”
Olivia Fox, Jaznia Tate and Fields are working on a “student takeover episode” for January 2021.
“We all assist with marketing for the IDEAlab and the university’s library,” said Fields, who also helps with creating social media content to promote the podcast. “Charlesa Peters assists with photography, and Sarah Glass assists with graphic design.
“I decided to get involved to get more experience in my field and to learn more interesting facts about the city of Oxford.”
Much like the library, the podcast offers “a little bit of something for everyone,” Streeter said.
“Even when our guests are sharing research or topical knowledge, we really make an effort to make it relatable and meaningful for all listeners,” she said.
For more information about UM Libraries, visit https://libraries.olemiss.edu/.
By Edwin B. Smith