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Welcome to the home of HCPL Podcast, Using our Library Voices. This monthly podcast represents yet another way that Harris County Public Library provides information and resources to enrich lives and strengthen communities through innovative programs and services both within and beyond our walls.

Using our Library Voices creates conversation for listeners to dive deeper into the subjects we discuss. In each episode, librarians will explore a theme with the resources available to you at the library. We aim to spark a dialogue, spread a little knowledge, and add some entertainment to your day with our podcast.

NEW! Introducing Are You Afraid of the Stacks?, a monthly podcast from 2 Children's Librarians discussing the creepier side of Children's Literacy! 

Listen to episodes below


Season 2

2022 Episode Highlights

Season 1 Episodes

Episode 1 Welcome to Using Our Library Voices
This episode of Using our Library Voices,  librarians talk loud and proud about our library, we invite you listen in and learn a bit about the history and services we provide to our communities.



Podcast Episode 1


Media mentioned in this podcast include: The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cochran, Almost an American Girl by Robin Ha, No Pirates Allowed Said Library Lou by Rhonda Gowler Greene


Hosted by Tanner Adams
Featured staff in this episode include:
And, featured Edward Melton, Amanda Tachibana, Melinda Brinkley,  Beth Krippel, Molly McGinty, Cecilia Williams, Linda Stevens, Maria Madrid, Jennifer Finch, Anjela Martinez, Anna Weinberger, and Jason Cruz

This podcast was produced by Nancy Hu and John Harbaugh. Original Music created by Bryan Kratish. Edited by Beth Krippel and Nancy Hu

In this special episode, we'll be talking about the 2020 election. Over half a million people in Harris County have early voted and we want to do our part to educate and inform the people of Harris County about the election process.


This episode was hosted by Nicole Hindmon.
Featured staff in this episode include: Gaby Prado, Molly McGinty, Jennifer Finch, Kelly Hayden, Leslie Espinoza, Nicole Hindmon and John Harbaugh

This podcast was produced by: Nicole Hindmon, Jennifer Finch, Nancy Hu and John Harbaugh. This episode was edited by Nancy Hu and Nicole Hindmon.

Episode 2 Holiday Traditions
Librarians talk about and explore different holiday traditions. We will chat about favorite books and movies about the holidays, we countdown the best Christmas carols, we learn about Hanukkah from Rabbi Dan and we bring back an old Christmas tradition of ghost stories, with some slightly creepy children's books.

With a special bonus storytime of a seasonal classic-T'was the Night Before Christmas



Episode 3 cast

Media mentioned in this podcast include:
Are you Afraid of the Stacks:

Creepy Carrots - Aaron Reynolds
Creepy Underwear - Aaron Reynolds
The Diviners - Libba Bray

To hear the Christmas carols mentioned in our Countdown segment please visit this link to listen along

Best Gift Book recommendations:
A Promised Land by Barack Obama
The Art of Star Wars: The Mandalorian by Phil Szostak
Help Wanted Must Love Books by Janet Summer Johnson

Bonus Storytime:
T'was the Night Before Christmas

This episode was hosted by Rachel Moir 

Featured staff in this episode include: Tanner Adams , Laura Echevarria, Jennifer Finch, John Harbaugh, Ellen Kaluza, Edward Melton,  Beth Krippel, Sadina Shawver, Eric Ray, Jennifer Nandlal, and Darcy Casavant with special guests, Rabbi Dan Gordon and Renee Harbaugh. 

This episode was edited by Sadina Shawver, Beth Krippel, and Nancy Hu

Original Music Provided by Bryan Kratish with other music provided by Pixabay as listed below:United States Army Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps: Reveille Variation Drum Call,
JuliusH: Adventure - Movie & Animation Soundtrack, JuliusH: Snowflakes, Magic 828: Winter is Coming

Episode 3 Healthy start to 2021
Librarians talk about ways the different healthy ways we can start 2021. We will chat about the different ways we can all keep on track with bullet journaling and home organization, our predictions for this year, and ways you can explore our health databases.


Media mentioned in this podcast include:
Books to help you start bullet journaling:

Getting Things Done by David Allen
The Bullet Journal Method by Ryder Carroll
The Pomodoro Technique by Francesco Cirillo

Books to help you start organizing your space:
The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo,
The Home Edit: A Guide to Organizing and Realizing Your House Goals by Clea Shearer & Joanna Teplin
The Home Edit Life: The No Guilt Guide to Owning What you Want and Organizing Everything by Clea Shearer and Joanna Teplin

Visit our e-resources, including our health Databases here:

Featured staff in this episode include: Rachel Moir, Jennifer Finch, Beth Krippel, Jennifer Nandlal, Jennifer Finch, Darla J. Pruitt, Rebecca Trent,  Laura Smith, and Anna Weinberger  
This episode was hosted by Beth Krippel and was edited by  Loyd B. Huhn and Nancy Hu

Episode 4 February celebrations
February is a month of celebrations, in this episode of Using our Library Voices, we will explore the history and meaning behind the Lunar New Year and the zodiac animals, talk with Houston podcasters, Opinions While Black, about Black History Month, and celebrate love with Bridgerton and unexpected romance book recommendations.

Media mentioned in this podcast include:
RomeAntically Challenged (When in Rome #1) by Marina Adair

How to fail at flirting by Denise Williams

You should see me in a Crown by Lean Johnson

I'll be the one by Lyla lee

Somebody Loves You, Mr. Hatch by Eileen Spinelli

Check out Opinions While Black podcast

Learn more about the Asia Society of Texas

Special thank you to our guests: Rebecca Becerra, Oz Longworth, Dee Randall

Featured staff in this episode include: Sadina Shawver, Jennifer Finch, Nancy Hu, Loli De Llano, Ellen Kaluza, Laura Echevarria, Jennifer Bacall and  Laura Smith 

This episode was hosted by Sadina Shawver and was edited by  Loyd B. Huhn and John Harbaugh 

Episode 5 Women Making History
We're showcasing women's history in gaming, leadership, and writing in this month's episode of Using our Library Voices. Our librarians explore a bit of the history and controversy behind Gamergate, meet children's book author Dr. Raquel Ortiz, and learn about the women-led Craftivism movement within Maker Spaces.

Media Mentioned in this podcast:

Craftivism Books mentioned in this podcast:
Fesity Felties by Missy Covington
Be the Change by Eunice and Sabrina Moyle
Crafting the Resistance by Lara Neel and Heather Marano

Special thank you to our guest:
 Raquel Ortiz
You can find Dr. Raquel Ortiz's books here and please join us for our bilingual virtual program
this month on Facebook  or on our virtual programs website

Learn more about her here: Arte Publico Press
Sofi Paints Her Dreams teaching guide: Sofi-Paints-Her-Dreams_4-08-19.pdf (

Featured staff in this episode include: Elizabeth Burton, Darcy Casavant, Nicole Hindmon,Jennifer Finch, Ellen Kaluza, Lauren Peters, Rebbeca Trent, and Sadina Shawver

This episode was hosted by Ellen Kaluza and was edited by  Nicole Hindmon and Beth Kripple

SPECIAL: Strong Women in History
In this special Gabbing with the Librarians, join librarians Darcy Casavant, Jennifer Finch, and Rebecca Trent for a discussion of their favorite women in history as well as other influential women, both real and fictional. You can be a part of the discussion on poetry by emailing Check out the list of resources below for further information on all the women discussed in today's episode.
Episode 6 Autism Awareness and Poetry
You may have your thoughts turning to poetry for National Poetry Month, our Gabbing with the Librarians have you covered this month as they discuss the poetry that enriched their lives. It is also Autism Acceptance month, this month we interview William Purdy, an Autism Activist and we'll also share book reviews from our community and resources in our Harris County Public Library collection to support Autistic individuals and their families.

Learn more here about autism here:

For the works mentioned in our Gabbing with the Librarians segment listed below:
Eminem. Angry Blonde. ReganBooks, 2002. 

Gorman, Amanda. Amanda Gorman, 2021,

Matejka, Adrian. The Big Smoke Poems. Penguin Poets, 2013. 

Matejka, Adrian. Map to the Stars. Penguin Books, 2017

Poe, Edgar Allan. The Collected Tales and Poems of Edgar Allan Poe. Modern Library, 1992.  

Siegel, Matthew. Blood Work. The University of Wisconsin Press, 2015. 

“Taylor Swift.” YouTube, YouTube,

Wordsworth, William, et al. LYRICAL BALLADS; edited by Michael Mason, LONGMAN, 2007.

Items mentioned in the Neurodiversity Book list are listed below:

The New Social Story book  by Carol Gray

NeuroTribes by Steve Silberman 

Sincerely Your Autistic Child edited by Emily Paige Ballou, Sharon daVanport, Morénike Giwa-Onaiwu

Get a Grip, Vivy Cohen! By Sarah Kapit 

Many Mysteries of the Finkel Family by Sarah Kapit 

A Room Called Earth by Madeleine Ryan 

 If you would like to join the conversation, email

This podcast was produced by Nancy Hu, Beth Krippel, and Darla Pruitt. Edited by Nicole Hindmon and hosted by Jennifer Nandlal. Featured presenters were Suellen Dunn, Jennifer Finch, Darla Pruitt, Beth Krippel, Israel Favela, Laura Echeverria, and William Purdy

Episode 7 AAPI Heritage Celebrations
May is Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. In a continued effort to eradicate racism and hate, we wanted to highlight and celebrate the many cultures, contributions, and perspectives from the Asian American and Pacific Islander community. Now more than ever we want to showcase the diversity in our communities and throughout the library system.

We kick off this month's episode with John and Jason from Parker Williams as they give us the lowdown on Anime for beginners. In our Are You Are Afraid of the Stacks segment, we will explore two horror books in Children's literature written by Asian authors. Discuss their themes, and why we recommend them.  After living in Hawaii for 3 years, Jennifer from the Spring Branch Memorial Branch Library developed a love and appreciation for Hula. She joins us this month for a special interview with Nani Kamali’i-Chang of Ka Pa Hula Na Pua o Kamali'i – Houston.

Books in our book recommendations:
Simeon, Sheldon. Cook Real Hawai'i

Amano, Hugh and Sarah Becan. Let's Make Ramen!

Vegan Richa's Indian Kitchen: Traditional and Creative Recipes for the Home Cook.  Hingle, Richa.

Other materials mentioned in this podcast:
Surfer of the century: The life of Duke Kahanamoku. Crowe, E., & Waldrep, R.

 Kai goes to the Farmers Market in Hawaiʻi , & Merritt, M.

Ho'onani: Hula warrior  Gale, H., & Song, M.

Juniors. Speak. Hemmings, K. H

Rani Patel in full effect.  Patel, S. 

Fiction: The descendants: A novel.Hemmings, K. H.
Diamond head: A novel  Wong, C.

 Non-Fiction: Fodor's Travel. with Molokai & Lanai Apana, L., Ellison, K., Leon, C., & Stallings, D.

 Aloha kitchen: Recipes from Hawai'i Kysar, A., & Dombroski, B.

DVD: Hawaiian Quilting with Nancy Lee Chong


Freegal Playlist:

This podcast was edited by Loyd Huyn and hosted by Jennifer Nandlal. Podcast presenters were Darcy Casavant, Jason Cruz, Jennifer Finch, John Harbaugh, Jennifer Nandlal and Sadina Shawver

Episode 8 Summer Reading, PRIDE History, DnD identity Exploration
We have lots of podcast news to share with listeners this month, a BONUS Summer Reading Program episode, followed by a Houston PRIDE history episode as we interview local archivists Vince Lee and Marus Jenkins about their work with the U of H Special Collections LGBTQ research collection and we chat with D&D players about how the RPG game helped them explore their identities.

BONUS Episode: This year we'll be celebrating Tails and Tales, with virtual events, curbside crafts, and author visits all Summer long.
Learn how to sign up, log reading to earn prizes and the fantastic virtual and outdoor programs our libraries have in store for our patrons!

Voices in this special bonus episode include: Beth Krippel, Anjela Martinez, Jennifer Bacall, Jennifer Schwartz and Nancy Hu

FULL Episode: We interview with the University of Houston- Special collections-LGBTQ research collection archivists Vince Lee and Marus Jenkins about the work their team has been doing to preserve and showcase Houston's LGBTQ history.

We also listen in on a conversation about Dungeons and Dragons and it's popularity with the LGBTQ community, especially how the RPG game has helped players with exploring their identities.

Host: Nicole Hindmon
This episode features: Rachel Moir, Elizabeth Burton, Ellen Kaluza, Merry Johnson, Casey Froehlich, Jake Sikinger, Brandon Crisp.
Edited by Beth Krippel.

Save Yourself from Boredom! And Get Crafty
Access the world of creativity with the many resources that can inspire, help create and elevate your do-it yourself projects, hobbies or craft.

How can the library help you get your creativity flowing ?
We'll hear our crafty, fiber artist librarians gab about the resources, books and websites that help them be inspired and create their projects.
We'll also check in with our Database Drill to learn more about the Craft and DIY Databases available to our library patrons.
If you need more crafting, we have a few suggestions for Crazy crafting books from our resident Maker Central specialist, Lauren.

Crafting not your preferred way to fight boredom? To find all the materials mentioned and new ways to fight boredom, please visit

This episode was hosted by Sadina Shawver, Edited by Jennifer Nandlal