Episodes are released monthly. You can listen right from this page, or find it on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, iHeartRadio, and other podcast services. If you use a podcast player app and want to subscribe via RSS feed, use this URL: https://curtislibrary.libsyn.com/rss

Our current podcast team consists of: Diana McFarland, Melissa Orth, Carol Lord, Pamela Bobker, Joyce Fehl, Bryan Hoppe, Liz Doucett, and Wynter Giddings.

Suggestions? Email podcasts@curtislibrary.com

Curtis Casts is going on hiatus, but before we go, please check out Episode 20: Carol Lord (CML Technical Services Manager) interviews Curt Dale Clark, Artistic Director for the Maine State Music Theater!

Episode 19: We’re Reopening!

Joyce speaks with senior staff members Wynter, Sarah, and Melissa about upgrades and changes around the building that we have been working on, while the building has been closed due to COVID. We are so excited for you to see what we’ve been up to!

Episode 17: Interview with Larissa Vigue Picard, of the Pejepscot History Center

Curtis Director Liz Doucett interviews the Executive Director of the Pejepscot History Center, Larissa Vigue Picard. Larissa describes some fascinating items from the center’s collections, explains the center’s recent name change (formerly the Pejepscot Historical Society), discusses the efforts of history centers and museums to decolonize their collections, and explains what criteria the center uses in acquiring items for their collections.

Episode 15: Mystery Author Event Featuring Edwin Hill

This virtual author event was hosted by Adult Services Librarian Pamela Bobker, and was held on Zoom and Facebook Live on September 29, 2020

Edwin Hill is the Edgar- and Agatha-award nominated author of Little ComfortThe Missing Ones, and Watch Her.

Episode 13: Recommended Fantasy Reads

Pamela and Jamie from Adult Services discuss their picks from different fantasy genres, and Teen Librarian Melissa explains the five traits that define the family of fantasy genres, and makes some recommendations of her own.

Episode 11: Interview with Dr. Nirav Shah and his family dog, Quincy

Joyce talks with Dr. Nirav Shah – a household name in Maine, as he is the Director of the Maine Center for Disease Control.  However, the “C-word” (COVID-19) is not discussed in this interview, as the topic of their conversation is Quincy, Dr. Shah’s family dog. 

Episode 9: The Library’s changing role during COVID and advice on keeping your devices up-to-date

Library Director Liz Doucett talks about how libraries are adapting to meet the needs of our communities during the COVID pandemic, how our focus on sustainability has helped us in this effort, and how this adaptation will likely continue after the pandemic.

Tech Guru Bryan Hoppe discusses the importance of updating your devices, avoiding problems or scams, and some tools to make the process simpler.

Episode 7: Bodice Rippers and Backups

Adult Services Librarian Pamela talks with patron Jeanne Baker Stinson about romance novels.  We give a variety of suggestions for fans of romance and for people interested in trying one for the first time.

Bryan’s Tech Tip segment talks about the importance of backing up your devices and gives advice on developing a backup plan.

For more info on the books discussed by Pamela and Jeanne, check out Pamela’s blog post here.

For more info on backups from Bryan, check out Bryan’s blog post here.

Episode 5: If You Liked The Martian by Andy Weir, You’ll Love…

Adult Services Librarian Pamela and Reference Assistant Jamie talk about what to read next if you enjoyed The Martian by Andy Weir, and Tech Guru Bryan recommends a few tech blogs that he reads to keep up-to-date.

Titles discussed (click to find in our catalog):

I Am Still Alive by Kate Alice Marshall

Hollow Kingdon by Kira Jane Buxton

All Our Wrong Todays by Elan Mastai

Dark Matter by Blake Crouch

Episode 3: Good reads you won’t find in the library and the importance of managing your passwords

In the first segment, Wynter recommends reading you can’t find at Curtis- the magazine Lapham’s Quarterly. In the second segment, Bryan discusses the importance of passwords, and how to more easily and effectively manage them.

Episode 1: Why are we here? What are we doing?

The Curtis staff decided to start a podcast while we were working from home, during the COVID-19 pandemic. We have no idea what we are doing really, so this first episode is basically us kicking some ideas around and learning how to podcast together, remotely!

Episode 18: Historical Fiction and Home Internet Recommendations

Librarian Pamela and Library Assistant Jamie discuss what historical fiction is (it’s fiction), what to consider when reading the genre, and recommending some of their favorites.

Tech Guru Bryan tells you why it’s a good idea to buy your own internet modem and router instead of renting one from your internet service provider (ISP) and makes recommendations on what to buy, how to set it up, and how to keep it secure.

Episode 16: Staff Picks for 2020

Pamela and Wynter ask ten Curtis staff members to list their favorite books published in 2020 and discuss their own favorites as well.

Episode 14: Holiday Tech Buys and Meaningful Holiday Stories

Bryan offers up his technology gift buying advice – he’ll tell you what is worth buying this season, and where to get the best deals.

Pamela talks with some special guests about the meaningful memories and connections created by holiday books and stories.

Episode 12: Ghost Stories

Just in time for Halloween, Manager of Materials Management Carol Lord speaks with her cousin, John Lestock – a Lutheran Pastor, who shares some spooky stories from his time spent in Owatonna, MN.

Stay tuned until the end, where Teen Librarian and Podcast Editor Melissa Orth talks about some Halloween-y foreign movies on Kanopy, and our newest digital offering, Mango Languages.

Episode 10: Mystery Author Event Featuring Carolyn Marie Wilkins

This virtual author event was hosted by Adult Services Librarian Pamela Bobker, and was held on Zoom and Facebook Live on September 15, 2020

In this program, Carolyn discussed her most recent novel Death at a Séance and played several jazz songs on the piano, which she tied in with her description of the book. There are no spoilers in her talk, so don’t worry if you haven’t read the book!

Carolyn Marie Wilkins is an author, a musician and a psychic medium.  She is the author of three mystery novels: Death at a SéanceMelody for Murder and Mojo for Murder. Carolyn’s nonfiction work includes They Raised Me Up: A Black Single Mother and the Women Who Inspired Her;Damn Near White: An African American Family’s Rise from Slavery to Bittersweet Success, and Tips For Singers: Performing, Auditioning, Rehearsing. As a musician, Carolyn has performed with the Pittsburgh Symphony and represented her country as a Jazz Ambassador for the U.S. State Department.  In addition, Carolyn maintains an active private practice as a psychic medium and Reiki healer.

Episode 8: Exploring Indie Presses and Poetry

Wynter talks indie publishers, why their books aren’t always found in the library, and getting books of poetry in the mail through a subscription to Ugly Duckling Presse. Links to publishers and other things in this episode can be found in this blog post.

Copyright note: “I want to live like a snail, wrapped in gauze” by Elena Fainalova, translated by Genya Turovskaya and Stephanie Sandler, was first published in The Russian Version (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2009). Permission was given via the publisher, for the readings of the poem in this episode.

Episode 6: A Rising High School Senior’s Perspective on Distance Learning and Being Social During the COVID Pandemic

Teen Librarian Melissa interviews Micah Pietraho, a rising Brunswick High School Senior. They discuss the challenges and opportunities of distance learning and socializing during the COVID pandemic, and the potential historical significance of this moment in time.

Episode 4: Director Liz Doucett chats with the directors of the Topsham Public library and Merrill Memorial Library

Director Liz Doucett talks with the director of the Topsham (Maine) Public Library, Susan Preece, and the director of Merrill Memorial Library (Yarmouth, Maine), Heidi Grimm. They discuss what it’s like to be a public library director in Maine, and how our libraries are navigating he COVID-19 pandemic.

Episode 2: Kate Egan and her dog, Tony

Joyce interviews Brunswick author and editor Kate Egan, and her family dog, Tony. They talk about how Tony came to join the family, and about Kate’s editing work on the newest Hunger Games book, The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, by Suzanne Collins.  Check out Suzanne Collins reading from the book here.