Sunday, March 19, 2017

Call Me Ishmael

Steph Kent, Call Me Ishmael Co-founder
At the American Library Association convention last summer, I met Steph Kent, co-founder of - a website where book lovers leave voicemails telling personal stories about their favorite books. I recorded an interview with Steph on the show floor, and then later got back in touch to create "How Is This Book Different?," a project sponsored jointly by Call Me Ishmael, the Association of Jewish Libraries, and the Jewish Book Council. YOU are invited to join in! Here's how:
  1. Call 774-325-0503 to leave a short voicemail
  2. Between March 27-April 4, 2017
  3. With a personal story about any Jewish book that matters in your life
  4. Then go to to hear everyone's stories!
HINT: Click here for tips on making your voicemail awesome.



Produced by: Feldman Children's Library at Congregation B'nai Israel 
Supported in part by: Association of Jewish Libraries 
Theme music: The Freilachmakers Klezmer String Band 
Twitter: @bookoflifepod 

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Your feedback is appreciated! Please write to or call our voicemail number at 561-206-2473. 

Heidi calls Ishmael

Saturday, March 18, 2017


March 2017 is #trypod month - a time to try a new podcast, and to show your friends how to listen to podcasts if they don't yet know. The campaign was organized by NPR to encourage the one in five Americans who listen to podcasts to help their friends start a listening habit too. Use the hashtag #trypod as you share your story about why you listen and your suggestions of favorite shows.

I listen to podcasts to be informed, to get a mood boost, and for professional development. But the big reason I listen to podcasts is to feel connected. When I have someone's voice in my ear, it's an intimate feeling, like they are speaking directly to me. These podcasters share my interests and concerns, and they make me feel connected to them as individuals, and to the issues being discussed. #trypod

Here are a few of my favorites:

To be informed, I listen to CodeSwitch, a podcast about race, A Way With Words, a show about language and how we use it, and the TED Radio Hour, which is about ... everything.

For a mood boost, I listen to Grownups Read Things They Wrote As Kids, a Canadian live show where people read from old diaries and homework assignments, Harry Potter and the Sacred Text, a fandom version of Torah study, and Verity, an international podcast hosted by six smart women seriously discussing Doctor Who.

For professional development as a Judaica librarian, I listen to Unorthodox from Tablet Magazine (see my recent interview with the hosts), Can We Talk? from the Jewish Women's Archive, and I've just started listening to All the Wonders, a show about children's books.

How to Listen to Podcasts (a brush-up for you, a primer for your friends):

You can listen to a podcast by going to its website and clicking the PLAY button for any episode (that's called "streaming"). You can also subscribe to podcasts so the newest episodes will be waiting for you on your device (computer, mobile phone, tablet, etc). To do this, you need an app such as iTunes or Stitcher. Most of the apps are free, and most podcasts are also free. To learn more about podcast basics click here; to learn about podcast listening apps ("podcatchers") check out this Best Of list.

I hope you'll help your friends learn how to enjoy podcasts, and please do recommend that they try The Book of Life!

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Mark Your Calendar

Listen for details, and mark your calendar!


March 20, 2017: #READ4REFUGEES

#Read4Refugees is a world-wide read-in benefitting the charity RefugePoint, running now through March 31, 2017. Donate by March 20 to help the campaign earn a bonus $10,000. Here's the scoop:

March 27-April 4, 2017: HOW IS THIS BOOK DIFFERENT?

You are invited to participate in How Is This Book Different?, a joint project of the Association of Jewish Libraries, the Jewish Book Council, and Call Me Ishmael. Between March 27-April 4, 2017, call 774-325-0503 with a story about your a Jewish book that matters to your life!


Apply by April 24 to participate in an August 13-20, 2017 Jewish kidlit writers' retreat in Amherst, MA co-sponsored by the Yiddish Book Center and PJ Library. Click here for details and application.