KCLS launched their first podcast called The Desk Set. The podcast is hosted by librarians Britta Barrett and Emily Calkins. Courtesy of The Desk Set.

KCLS launched their first podcast called The Desk Set. The podcast is hosted by librarians Britta Barrett and Emily Calkins. Courtesy of The Desk Set.

KCLS launches first podcast, The Desk Set

Librarians Britta Barrett and Emily Calking co-host new podcast.

The King County Library System (KCLS) launched their first podcast called The Desk Set. The podcast is hosted by librarians Britta Barrett and Emily Calkins.

The Desk Set is a podcast that encourages reading broadly through author interviews, book suggestions and interesting conversations on literary topics. The podcast follows KCLS’s annual reading challenge, 10 to Try. Each episode is based on the different challenge categories, which encourage readers to expand their reading horizons.

According to Calkins, there had been conversations of starting a podcast at KCLS for a while. It wasn’t until Barrett approached Calkins about finally starting the podcast. They were ready to combine their strengths and launch the first KCLS podcast.

“We’re always looking for new ways to reach our community,” said Barrett. “A podcast seemed like a perfect way to engage folks who listen to podcasts and/or audiobooks but may not already think of the library as a place to turn for that kind of content.”

The Desk Set released its first episode on Oct. 26. The librarians had the opportunity to record at the new Makerspace in the Bellevue Library. Barrett said if listeners are inspired to start their own podcast, they are able to use that library space.

The podcast currently has five episodes. In their first episode, Books Foodies Will Devour, the co-hosts chat with Chef Selengut about the art and science of taste. They also chat with store owner Lara Hamilton, who owns The Book Larder in Seattle.

Both librarians have been working with KCLS for some time now. Barrett has been working with KCLS for about two years now and her position focuses on creating digital content for social media, blogs and newsletters. She is also a librarian in online library services. Calkins has been with KCLS for nearly fives years and has been the Readers’ Services Program Coordinator for two years.

The podcast is named after a 1957 film starring Katherine Hepburn and Spencer Tracey. In the film, Hepburn plays a research librarian who proves that the new supercomputers introduced at her workplace are no match for her wisdom.

“We believe that even (or especially) in the age of Google, Wikipedia and fake news, there are some things that a skilled trusted human can still do better than an algorithm,” Barrett said.

Barrett shared how trusted humans can connect readers with book recommendations and interview authors on nuanced and complex topics but at the same time, they’re embracing emerging technology and new tools to share what they do best.

So far, the response has been positive. The podcast has a perfect five-star rating on iTunes. The download numbers are quite strong considering they launched a few weeks ago.

Their hope is to continue reaching new audiences and help people discover their next favorite book. And to also help listeners learn something new and learn about library services they’ve never heard of to nurture their curiosity and interest in reading broadly.

To learn more about The Desk Set, visit kcls.org or download the podcast on all podcast platforms.

More in Life

Wastemobile returns to Bothell Sept. 13-15

Bothell residents can safely dispose of hazardous household items for free.

Last year’s grand prize winner, Laurie Ascanioi of Bothell. Photo courtesy of Marella Alejandrino
Kenmore Heritage Society launches fifth annual Northshore Fun Photo Contest

The contest has expanded to include entries from communities within the NSD.

Jaeden Luke, 19-year-old singer-songwriter releases his first album, “Free of Me.” Madison Miller/staff photo
Bothell singer-songwriter releases first full-length album

Jaeden Luke, 19, has opened for Chris Isaak and Little Feat.

Strong America tour makes a stop in Kenmore

Strong Towns was founded in 2008.

Art thieves come from all backgrounds

Former FBI art theft investigations manager speaks during Pub Night Talk in Bothell.

Local woman launches event to celebrate Kenmore

21 Acts of Kindness Challenge will celebrate Kenmore’s 21st birthday.

Sustainamania arrives at Bothell City Hall this week

The annual function provides tips on how to sustainably live effectively.

Annual Imagine Scholar Yard Sale event comes to Kenmore Aug. 15

The two-day event will take place in the Northlake Lutheran Church parking lot.

Pop-up dog park debuts at park at Bothell landing

The pop-up park will be in Bothell from Aug. 1 to Sept. 15

Applying mindfulness into your daily life

Being mindful is the act of staying present, being aware of your surroundings and noticing new things without judgment.

Mindful goal setting

What are the roots of you life goals?

Bothell awarded grant to create cultural plan

This work will be led by the newly formed Bothell Arts Commission and city staff.