I recently started listening to Strange Brews, which is a podcast about craft beer. Unexpectedly, it is also evidence of a successful outreach strategy by the Library of Congress: a blog post about beer in colonial America was tweeted to the podcast’s hosts, and they were so excited about the topic that they asked the blog post’s author, librarian Alison Kelly, to be a guest on the podcast.

I was particularly struck by the enthusiasm exhibited during the episode, including this choice quote:

I didn’t even know that there were blogs on the Library of Congress website, but there are and they’re great!

This is a total Outreach Win for Alison Kelly and the Library of Congress. Not only did her research on colonial beer reach (and excite) beer enthusiasts, those enthusiasts rebroadcast that research to their listener base – a highly targeted group of people who are now more aware of American beer history and more able to conduct additional research on the topic.

I love that the hosts of Strange Brews sing the praises of LOC blogs, model excitement about learning, and completely geek out with a librarian. And, obviously, I adore that Kelly gives a shout out to the Archives of the American Philosophical Society as a source of information about something so contemporary and commonplace as beer; her comment can easily help make the connection between archives and modern life for Strange Brews listeners.

Crack a beer and read Kelly’s blog post here, then listen to the Strange Brews podcast here (episode 48; start at 26:00 for the segment discussed above).

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