Winning the Grant
In June of 2019, WiLS announced that our library had won a $5,000 Ideas to Action grant.
Buying Equipment and Hiring Interns
The first stage of the process was to purchase the equipment and hire the interns. We bought a RODECaster Pro, PodMics, Boom Arms, and other equipment. Then we hired Andrea Gambaro-Gunn and Dusty Karls.
Finding a Classroom and Software
Our goal was to work with teenagers to create an Intro to Podcasting class. We worked with Paula Tonn, who connected us with Anthony Schnell's Chemistry 2 class at Lodi High School. Dusty learned the equipment and pinpointed the software we'd use for the project: Soundtrap.
Teaching, Researching, Writing, Recording and Editing
Andrea collaborated with Mr. Schnell to create lesson plans. Over the course of 6 classes, the students learned about podcasting, practiced sound editing, researched their science topics, wrote their scripts and familiarized themselves with the equipment. Then they recorded their projects and edited them. Along the way, we updated WiLS on our progress.
The final projects were due the week that schools closed at the start of the pandemic. We met with the students and Mr. Schnell over Zoom, listened to the projects, and provided feedback.
We developed art work and ideas for a podcast that would publish the student work and any oral history recordings we made. The podcast is called Duck Town and the student work has the heading "Bleacher Stories." During emergency closure in April of 2020, we interviewed library staff about their experiences. In May of 2020 we began interviewing other people in Lodi and the surrounding area, and in August we started a staff movie discussion. In 2021 we began talking about culture more broadly, including music, TV, books, and more.