BookGrowl Podcast


Caption: SWOSU librarian Frederic Murray stands next to the webpage for his podcast,“BookGrowl.”

SWOSU librarian Frederic Murray and other library staff have a podcast called BookGrowl where SWOSU authors, faculty and administration can discuss and share books that are important to them and their students. 


“The idea for doing this podcast came about in the summer of 2010 because, back in 2010, there weren’t that many people doing podcasts,” librarian Frederic Murray said. “I wanted to bring attention to the technology we have in the library and being on this campus, that I was surrounded by people who like read. 


I thought as a librarian, it would be a great opportunity to reach out across the campus and talk to the experts about the books that are being published or books that they love.” 


Murray said when the podcast first started it felt like “a poor man’s NPR.” He also said when the podcast first started, he was nervous because he was reaching out to professors he didn’t know or never worked with before, but now feels much more at ease and more confident reaching out. 


“The idea was really basic, very basic for a librarian” Murray said. “Find someone who knows something about their topic and read a book and talk to them about it. 


“What I wanted to do was bring a little awareness of how many amazing people we have on campus and give these professors a chance to do something beyond their curriculum that the students really don’t see because all of our professors are involved with scholarly activity,” Murray said about the goal behind the podcast. 


“And without getting into the minutia of each discipline, taking each subject matter that they’re familiar with or passionate with and bring it to the campus in an attempt to encourage reading.”  


Murray does not work on the podcast alone. Murray handles all the content such as interviewing professors, selecting books, and reaching out to professors. Doug Reichman is the current tech for BookGrowl. Once Reichman edits the podcast, it then goes over to Jonathan Woltz, who will get it published on the web. 


“This is a library project,” Murray said. “I couldn’t do it without these guys.” 


Some future guests listeners can expect to hear on BookGrowl include Dr. Reagan Chain, Dr. Sunu Kodumthara, and Dr. Becky Bruce. 


“I haven’t thought of who my next victim is going to be,” Murray said. “I am hoping this story will generate interest.”  


Murray said he would like to talk to whoever wants to talk about a book, and that does include students.  


One of the dream guests Murray said he would like to have on BookGrowl is astronaut Tom Stafford. Another would be Jerry Hodge. 


“I guess I would like to talk to mister Hodge, “Murray said. “He was a SWOSU graduate. He’s had an extraordinary career as a pharmacist, entrepreneur and philanthropist.” 


Murray said he would also love to chat with whichever professor publishes his or her next book.  


BookGrowl has entered its 12th year and has 17 episodes.  The BookGrowl staff try to produce at least one to two episodes per year. “It’s a nice institutional record of the faculty that have passed through this university,” Murray said,and I think that’s a good thing.”