Hamden Library Podcast

Hamden Library Podcast

A monthly podcast all about Hamden, libraries and community. Your number one listening resource for our unique and diverse community, keeping you informed but also entertaining and inspiring you. Appreciate why Hamden Public Library truly is the heart of Hamden!


December 4, 2023 18 mins

To celebrate the end of the year, we asked our staff to talk about something they loved in 2023: a book, an album, an event - anything that stood out as superlative. Here are their picks. 

What did you like best in 2023? Email us at hamdenlibrarypodcast@gmail.com and we'll read the best submissions in a future episode!

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This month we are recognizing Native American Heritage month with two interviews. Ryan spoke to David Eichelberg, a member of the Mohegan tribe who specializes in outreach and is also doing a special program with the library later this month (check our website for more details). Ariana talked with Matthew Makomenaw, enrolled member of the Grand Traverse Bay Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians, Assistant Dean of Yale College and Dir...

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September 4, 2023 54 mins

Have you ever wondered about the history of Hamden? I interviewed town historian Dave Johnson about town origins, trolleys, the Leatherman's cave, and more. Also in this episode, hear from a 102-year-old woman who grew up in Hamden, rode the trolleys, and went into the Nurse Corps during World War II. Plus, Ryan and I talk books and a new kind of library program!

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June 16, 2023 23 mins

In this special bonus episode, Ariana talks to Kayla Del Biondo about mindful journaling. Look for Kayla's 3-part program series this summer at the Library!

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It's a very busy month in Hamden and at the library. In this episode, we talk to Jacky Forcucci, a co-founder of Hamden Pride Fest (which takes place on June 10th) and Emida Roller, the artist who created the MLK39 mural that will be unveiled before the  Hamden Juneteenth Celebration of Freedom on the 17th. Our head of technical services Jessica returns to tell us all about our new Library of Things. And Michael Wheatley spiri...

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May 1, 2023 81 mins

This month on the podcast, we talk with Connecticut-based artist Adam Wallenta and his son Makana about creating their graphic novel "Punk Taco." We've also got a roundtable discussion with three musicians on the library staff about how they think about their own creative practices and an interview with the heads of Hamden's Arts Commission and the Department of Arts, Culture, Recreation and Wellness. And lest w...

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April 21, 2023 15 mins

On our special Earth Day mini-episode, Ryan talks with Lynn Stoddard, the founder and executive director of Sustainable CT about helping the towns of Connecticut become cleaner, greener and more equitable for everyone.

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April 3, 2023 60 mins

Earth Day is on April 22nd so this month we're talking about sustainability, reducing waste and recycling. Guest interviews include Joe DiRisi, Hamden's recycling coordinator; Rebekah Smith-Aldrich, Executive Director of the Mid-Hudson Library System; and Lorrice Grant of Haven's Harvest. We also have updates from the Seed Library and more!

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March 6, 2023 44 mins

Have you ever wondered what goes on behind the scenes at a public library? 

On this episode, the first of an occasional series, we'll take a peek at some things that the technical services department does, including everything that needs to happen to get books and other items on our shelves.

We also talk to reference librarian David Scanlon about digital preservation, an important topic in our field that has ...

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February 6, 2023 62 mins

For this episode, we wanted to explore how Black history is being taught in Connecticut and in the Hamden and New Haven area. A new state law made Connecticut the first in the nation to compel all its secondary schools to offer elective courses in African-American, Black, Puerto Rican, and Latino studies.

Ryan Keeler talked to Paquita Jarman-Smith of SERC, the State Education Resource Center, who helped create the curriculum being u...

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January 2, 2023 54 mins

What is library advocacy and why is it necessary? What makes libraries important beyond being a place to borrow books and engage in quiet study? In this episode, we interview Maureen Sullivan, former ALA President and current interim Director of New Haven Free Public Library, about being a champion for the library, why we need the library and other "palaces for the people," how the role of the public library has shifted, ...

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December 5, 2022 27 mins

For December we are doing another movie discussion. This time we focus on holiday films and the wonderful, warm feelings of nostalgia they bring us. Much like our October discussion, it’s very free-form and fun so we hope you enjoy this break from our usual, information-packed episodes.

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November 7, 2022 43 mins

This month's episode is all about non-profits that help those in need in their communities. We talked to Y'Isiah Lopes of Hamden's Keefe Community Center, Kate Shafer from Hands on Hartford, and Suzanne Burbage of Hamden's Elderly Services about some of the many programs and services they provide, not just during the winter holidays but throughout the year.

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October 3, 2022 58 mins

We tried something different for this episode. Since it is October, we decided to celebrate the season with an hour-long discussion of horror films (and some books, of course)! Don't be scared, we promise it's fun.

CW: Discussion of horror films, brief mention of body horror imagery, brief mention of rape

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September 5, 2022 44 mins

Substance addiction is a pervasive problem that touches everyone in our society. This episode we talk with Dennis Leary of Aware Recovery Care to discuss what addiction is, how to understand it, and how it can be successfully treated. Kara Sepulveda of Quinnipiack Valley Health District also joins us to discuss the overdose epidemic, why the advent of fentanyl has made street drugs even more dangerous, how to recognize an overdose ...

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August 3, 2022 76 mins

It’s August, which means we are officially in the dog days of summer.  So we decided to talk to some local shelters and rescues about what they do, how people can help out (through donations, volunteering, fostering and adopting an animal) and what it’s been like for them over the past couple of years dealing with the COVID pandemic.

We spoke with three organizations: Where the Love Is Animal Rescue, located right here in Hamden; Th...

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This month we spotlight our Museum Pass program available to all Hamden residents with a Hamden Public Library card. We also discuss day trips to the Book Barn and speak to Tabitha Logan, the organizer of Compassionfest, a yearly vegan festival that takes places right here in Hamden at Whitneyville Cultural Commons (July 23rd this year). Also features interviews with Jennifer Holmes Weston of West Hartford's Children's Mu...

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June 2, 2022 61 mins

This month we are celebrating Trails Day (June 4th-5th) and encouraging everyone to get outdoors and enjoy the natural wonders of our community. We interview Julie Hulten of the Sleeping Giant Park Association, Chuck Toal of the Connecticut Forest and Park Association, and our co-worker Sandy Bartell, avid hiker and trail runner! Listen and be inspired to start (or continue) your own outdoor adventures!

Plus: check out th...

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May 9, 2022 86 mins

May is Mental Health Awareness Month. In this episode, we discuss mental health - the stigmas, the myths and the misconceptions, and generational changes toward self-care and wellness. We interview Sylvia Moscariello, Program Director of Liberty Community Services, Amanda Forcucci, Health & Physical Education Curriculum Director for Hamden Schools and Judy Campbell, a school psychologist for Hamden Public Schools. Mike Wheatley...

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April 4, 2022 54 mins

Spring has sprung and we're all abuzz! We interview Seed Librarian Betsy Goldberg, Spring Glen Garden Club's President Theresa McCabe, Solid Waste & Recycling Coordinator Joe DeRisi, and the chair of the Energy Use & Climate Change Commission Larry Rosenthal. Your humble host Michael Pierry recommends two books on ancient life, and Mike Wheatley once again graces us with his film recommendations.

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