AUSTIN (KXAN) — While libraries are community spaces that encourage literacy, there are more non-book offerings than meet the eye at the Austin Public Library.
Austin’s public library system will premiere season two of its podcast series “APL Volumes” Sept. 27. The second season will focus on all of the non-literature items available for use through APL: from tools and board games available to rent, to craft supplies and seeds residents can come use.
“We’re talking about our zine collection, our gaming, gardening, different music, crafts, cooking,” said Leticia Leal, a youth program specialist at APL’s Central library branch and host of the podcast’s second season. “And that’s all the amazing resources that the library has that we’re so excited to share with everybody.”
Why a podcast? Leal said it’s a great medium and tool to reach people from a wide range of backgrounds and perspectives. When it came to crafting the theme for season two, Leal said library staff wanted to introduce people to some of the less commonly known resources at their access.
“When you think of a library, you think of the books — of course, and the books are a very important part of the library,” she said. “But we also have so many resources that people don’t know about.”
Some of those include its tool library available for rent, different job resources, instruments, zine-making and crafting supplies and tutorials held at facilities throughout APL’s branches.
From an accessibility standpoint, Leal said it’s important that residents from all backgrounds can connect to and access the wide range of services available.
“The library is a pillar of the community,” she said. “We offer so many things for free for our residents. It’s important to be equitable and to offer something for everyone, and we have something for everyone. The library is for everyone.”
One of Leal’s personal favorites is APL’s vinyl collection, available for rent from the library’s Carver branch. She also highlighted live music performances available at the Central location’s rooftop garden, along with seed libraries where residents can donate or take seeds.
“The offerings that we have, it’s almost never-ending,” she said. “We have something for everyone, truly, and for all ages.”
Season two of “APL Volumes” premieres Sept. 27 and will be available online and on podcast platforms like iTunes, Spotify and iHeart Radio.