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Listeners' Advisory: The San Diego Public Library Podcast

Listeners’ Advisory is the San Diego Public Library (SDPL) podcast and audio access point that connects users with SDPL services, facilities, and staff. Enjoy a mixture of narrative-driven segments, in-depth interviews, and roundtable discussions about everything from professional recommendations to community-centric matters. Now in its second season, the Listeners’ Advisory podcast is expanding to include the Books for Good Trouble podcast series which features provocative literature and connected stories of individuals, authors, and activists alike. All of our podcast programming strives to engage listeners with unique content that expands perspective and knowledge.
This podcast is supported by the Library Foundation of San Diego.
Listeners’ Advisory is the San Diego Public Library podcast

S2 E8: Books for Good Trouble: Beyond the Gender BinaryListeners' Advisory - Beyond the Gender Binary

Listen to Episode Eight
In this episode, Bob speaks with Library Assistant III, Craig Wimberly (they/them) about their journey as a gender non-conforming individual and how it relates to ALOK’s (they/them) Beyond the Gender Binary. Craig speaks about their beginnings, coming to San Diego and joining SDPL, as well as finding their voice as an LGBTQIA+ advocate. 

The Books for Good Trouble podcast will be sharing the feed of the Listeners' Advisory podcast for approximately 5 episodes. This podcast series features provocative literature and connected stories of individuals, authors, and activists alike. Find related Books for Good Trouble events here.



Planet B - Bad Girls

S2 E7: Emily Drabinski Pt. IIALA American Library Association

Emily Drabinski and Trevor continue their conversation on American libraries and their larger cross-currents in history and politics. In this segment, Emily expands the possibility of class analysis and materialism when it comes to library work and how consensus and solidarity can strengthen communities. The conversation then pivots to other challenges such as climate change and censorship, brainstorming ways people can get involved themselves in their neighborhoods.

S2 E6: Emily Drabinski Pt. I

Emily Drabinski

In this episode, Trevor sits down with American Library Association President Elect, Emily Drabinski. Emily is is the Interim Chief Librarian at the Mina Rees Library at the Graduate Center, City University of New York.  She ran on a platform described as being for “collective power, public good”, advocating for where library workers and library patrons’ interests meet. Drabinski’s project is to advocate for libraries, but in doing so wants to change how we talk about libraries and how they’re run—drawing on the vocabulary of social justice and intersectionality, but highlighting real Marxist, materialist concerns over empty virtue signaling. 

Emily Drabinski


In this episode, Bob sits down with Central Library's Emerging Technologies Librarian, Gigi Terzian and Legler-Benbough Teen IDEA Lab Manager, Francesca de Vera to discuss their respective IDEA Labs, reopening efforts, and the ins and outs of hands-on spaces during the pandemic.

S2 E4: Books for Good Trouble: Valeria Luiselli Pt. IIAdi Huertas

In part two of our Valeria Luiselli feature, Bob interviews SDPL Supervising Librarian of Youth and Family Services, Adi Huertas about her work bringing literacy tools and library-related services to unaccompanied migrant children since 2014.
The Books for Good Trouble podcast will be sharing the feed of the Listeners' Advisory podcast for approximately 5 episodes. This podcast series features provocative literature and connected stories of individuals, authors, and activists alike. Find related Books for Good Trouble events here.

S2 E3: The Dublin AwardsUna Smyth with 2021 book nominations

In this episode, College-Rolando Branch Library Manager, Trevor Jones sits down with Úna Smyth, Award Administrator of the prestigious Dublin Award. They discuss the award's history, how it serves the literary community, and the role international public librarians play in selecting winners.
The Dublin Award - Úna Smyth, Award Administrator

S2 E2: Books for Good Trouble: Valeria Luiselli Pt. IRosiangela Escamilla and América Martínez (Books for Good Trouble)

In this first episode of the offshoot series Books for Good Trouble, we'll hear from Rosiangela Escamilla and América Martínez, two San Diego Community College professors whose stories connect with the award-winning literature of Valeria Luiselli.  This episode is part one of two.
The Books for Good Trouble podcast will be sharing the feed of the Listeners' Advisory podcast for approximately 5 episodes. This podcast series features provocative literature and connected stories of individuals, authors, and activists alike. Find related Books for Good Trouble events here.

Rosiangela Escamilla

América Martínez

Works and Authors Mentioned


Sonida de la Frontera - Cumbia de la Frontera 

S2 E1: Discover & Go and Our Favorite PodcastsLaptop and Microphone set up for podcasting

Welcome to Season Two! In this episode Bob talks with Jeffrey Davis, Branch Manager of the Linda Vista Branch Library about the many benefits of SDPL’s new ticketed pass program, Discover & Go. Also, Bob hangs with Deputy Director, Jennifer Jenkins and Library Assistant III, Cora Womble-Miesner to discuss their favorite podcasts of 2022 so far.  

S2 Bonus Episode: Great Books You May Have Missed!Librarian peeing out from behind the shelves

In this bonus episode, Bob hangs with new Listeners’ Advisory collaborators Trevor Jones and Cora Womble-Miesner. They discuss Trevor and Cora’s upcoming in-person event, Great Books You May Have Missed! as well as provide some excellent book recommendations.

Previous Episodes

S1 E1: Seed Library & Library Master Plan Pt. 1

In this premier episode, host Bob Surratt speaks with Library Assistant III, Destiny Rivera about the Ocean Beach and Scripps Ranch Miramar Seed Libraries; co-host Scott Ehrig-Burgess, SDPL director Misty Jones and San Diego Public Library Foundation CEO, Patrick Stewart discuss the Library Master Plan; and Bob, Scott, and Supervising Librarian, Jennifer Jenkins recommend their favorite podcasts.
Seed Libraries
Library Master Plan
Listener’s Advisory Recommendations

S1 Bonus Episode: Book Coven

In this bonus episode, we meet members of the Book Coven, an off-the-books book club for librarians that love young adult literature. The Book Coven consists of various members of SDPL staff including Sciences Manager, Monnee Tong, Pauline Foster Teen Center Manager, Vanessa Gempis, and Collection Development Librarian, Angie Stava. They discuss their origin story, book recommendations, the value of rating systems, and what they love about being in a book club.
Books Mentioned and Recommended
For more information on upcoming young adult book clubs for teens and adults contact: Vanessa Gempis.

S1 E2: Matchbook & Odi's Library Day

Odi’s Library Day's writer Hunter Hackett and illustrator Anisi BaigudeListen to Episode Two

For our second official episode, the theme is books! Host Bob speaks with Steven Torres-Roman, one of the librarians behind the new digital readers’ advisory service, Matchbook; co-host Scott catches up with writer Hunter Hackett, illustrator Anisi Baigude, and program coordinator, Emily Derry, the team behind SDPL’s first children’s book, Odi’s Library Day; and Bob talks books with College Rolando branch manager and host of the web series Read More! (with Trevor), Trevor Jones.


*Correction, Steve states the National Endowment for the Arts’ study, To Read or Not to Read was published in 2000. It was as actually published in 2007.

Odi’s Library Day/El Día de la Biblioteca de Odi

Read More! (with Trevor)

S1 Bonus Episode: The How-To Festival

How-To Festival 2021 graphicListen to Bonus Episode: The How-To Festival

In this second bonus episode, host Bob sits down with Adrianne Peterson, Rancho Peñasquitos Branch Manager and head organizer behind one of SDPL’s annual signature events, the How-To Festival. They discuss the festival’s origins, how it responded to the pandemic of 2020, and how those lessons are shaping this year’s How-To Festival and beyond.

Contact: Adrianne Peterson

Additional Music: Go to the Picnic by Loyalty Freak

S1 E3: Summer Reading & Let's Talk Audiobooks

Listen to Episode Three

For our third episode, Scott catches up with Supervising Librarian of Youth and Family Services, Ady Huertas about SDPL’s long-running Summer Reading Program. Scott also does some digging into the origins of SRP with the help of some tenacious Central librarians. Finally, Bob speaks with North Clairemont Librarian, Maureen Meadows about her new web series, Let’s Talk Audiobooks and why audiobooks may be for you.

Summer Reading Program

Let's Talk Audiobooks with Maureen 

*Not all titles mentioned are available in audiobook format from SDPL.

S1 E4: Joseph Murphy Baseball Autograph Collection

In this episode, host Bob Surratt speaks with some of the folks involved in bringing the newly acquired Joseph Murphy Baseball Autograph Collection to the San Diego Public Library’s Sullivan Family Baseball Research Center. Interviews include Steve Murphy, son of Joseph; Tom Larwin, President of the Society for American Baseball Research Ted Williams’ Chapter; and Pete Miesner, Manager of the Sullivan Family Baseball Research Center.

View the Joseph Murphy Baseball Autograph Collection

S1 E5: Rainbow Label Dilemma & ComicCon Recs

Shelf of Pride Books
In this episode, Scott speaks with LGBTQIA+ Services Committee members Erin Wilson and Francesca de Vera about the dilemma of rainbow labels on library books and how "othering" can be an unintended consequence, despite good intentions. Also, Bob hangs with San Carlos Branch Manager, Dave Ege to talk comics and graphic novel recommendations as well as the GOAT, Alan Moore.

S1 E6: SD Access 4 All

SD Access4All
In this episode, Bob hangs out with Curtis Williams, SDPL’s Technology Resources Manager and Sam Cerrato, the Circulation Supervisor at the Central Library. They discuss the new city-wide initiative, SD Access for All and the City of San Diego’s efforts to address digital equity by getting the community connected via computer labs, devices, and various Wi-Fi hotspots.
Internet Services @SDPL

S1 E7: Parker Edison Project & Speed Date with a Record

Black and white photo of Parker EdisonListen to Episode Seven

In this episode, Bob meets up with local creative Parker Edison, host of the KPBS podcast The Parker Edison Project. They talk Hip Hop and emceeing, Parker’s creative inspirations, and his various artistic endeavors. Also, Bob hangs with librarian II, Dustin Vogel to discuss his web series, Speed Date with a Record, as well as their favorite golden era Hip Hop and other music recommendations.

S1 E8: The San Diego Union Tribune's Festival of Books

In this episode, Scott chats with SDPL librarians Vanessa Gempis, Marika Jeffery, Christina Wainwright, and Trevor Jones about their panel moderation duties at this year's Festival of Books (FOB). They discuss the nuts and bolts of moderating a good panel and the question of when criticism of guest authors is appropriate.

S1 E9: Conversations with Poets & Robert Frost Society

In this episode, Bob sits down with Michael Klam and Dr. Anthony Blacksher, co-creators of Conversations with Poets, a new 8 part poetry series made in partnership with the City of San Diego’s Commissions for Arts & Culture. They discuss their beginnings in poetry, San Diego’s new poet laureate, and what to expect from Conversations with Poets. Also, Scott catches up with poets Jim Hurley and Robert Hass to discuss the arrival of the new Robert Frost Society collection at SDPL.

S1 E10: Banned Books Week & Our Favorite Banned Books

Three Library Staff  on Tele conferenceListen to Episode Ten

In this episode, Bob speaks with Director of the American Library Association’s Office of Intellectual Freedom, Deborah Caldwell-Stone and SDPL Supervising Librarian of Technical Services, Robyn Gage-Norquist about intellectual freedom, censorship, and the ethics of librarianship. Also, Bob and Scott hang with Listeners’ Advisory Executive Producer and Supervising Librarian, Jennifer Jenkins. They discuss their favorite banned books and trolling book censors.


S1 E11: SDPL's Zine Collection & the SD Zinefest

Black and white photo of zinesListen to Episode Eleven

In this episode, Bob chats with SDPL's zine collection curator, Ernesto Vasquez about the 5 Ws (who, what, where, when, and why) of this eclectic, ephemeral collection. Also, Bob hangs with Gina, the long-time organizer of the San Diego Zinefest. They discuss the fest's origins, how it pivoted during shutdown, and what we can expect from this year's 10 day event.
To donate by mail, please send to:
San Diego Central Library
ATTN: Ernesto Vasquez
330 Park Blvd.
San Diego, CA 92101

S1 E12: The Music of Listeners' Advisory

Listen to Episode TwelveSepia photo of kid and guitar

In this episode, Bob chats with musicians Pete Miesner and Luke Henshaw about their original music contributions to Listeners’ Advisory. Bob and Pete discuss the creation of the podcast’s theme song, Rollin’ On as well as Pete’s early interests in playing guitar. Bob talks with Luke about his involvement in the breakbeat/turntablist scene along with his unorthodox listening habits and sources of inspiration.


S1 E13: Clara Breed & Library Master Plan Pt.2

Listen to Episode ThirteenBlack and white photo of Clara Breed

In our season finale, Bob chats with author Joanne Oppenheim, historian Susan Hasegawa, and Library Director Misty Jones about former City Librarian Clara Breed and her legacy of rebellion. Also, Scott provides an update on the 2nd phase of the Library Master Plan and its emerging framework.


*Please Take Our Survey*

With the completion of our first season, we're eager to hear from you! We want to know what worked, what didn't work, and how we can make the next season of Listeners' Advisory even better. The survey should only take a few minutes and we greatly appreciate your time.