Tag Archives: video

Library construction project marketing videos

I’ve been thinking about library construction projects lately and happened across these great short videos that North Carolina State University (NCSU) has produced while they are raising money for and undergoing construction on their Hunt Library. What I like about these videos is that they place the users at the center of the construction project, showing students and faculty (some in hardhats) talking about how they’re going to benefit from the renovated library and what it means to teaching and learning at NCSU. The library has branded the campaign with the tagline “imagine” and re-uses it in different scenarios, like “imagine 100 group study rooms” (don’t we all wish we could offer so many study rooms!) It’s nice and simple but makes sense for a construction project that can often feel never-ending and only about the current noise and reduced space and services. The short videos are linked from the library’s home page and are a great model for any academic library about to launch or in the middle of a construction project. And they shouldn’t be too difficult to produce. You can even get students to help you out in the making of them. Now that’s user-centered!:

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QR Codes

Just sat in on a webinar organized by the LITA Mobile Computing Interest Group. It’s not a group that I follow, but a colleague (thanks, Bob Duncan) alerted me to this:

Handheld Tube Tours:  Increasing orientation engagement with viral videos and mobile devices
– Sean CordesInstruction Services Coordinator, Western Illinois University Libraries

Library orientation tours are helpful, but for many students, if you’ve seen one service point, you’ve seen them all. This presentation describes the practice of incorporating the You Tube viral video format with handheld devices to energize and engage students during library orientation tours. Topics include best practices for creating viral library content, and triumphs and challenges of using handheld devices to support library orientation tours including device availability, connectivity, sequencing content, and pacing the handheld supplemented tour.

I was interested because I organize the library orientation program for first years every Fall. For the past two years, I’ve harnessed students’ phones and used QR codes as part of the program, which is designed as a scavenger hunt. I’ve presented on this and been written up in the Chronicle of Higher Ed’s “The Wired Campus” blog as well as ACRLog. But really, my use of QR codes has been very basic: students collect clues in the form of text or images via QR codes that can then be unscrambled to find a mystery location. It’s an old-fashioned scavenger hunt stepped up just a bit with technology. That’s been fine with me, since part of the message I’m trying to get across to students is that the library is a place where the new and old collide. They’re using their smartphones and QR codes to find an old object that’s usually held in Special Collections: the Marquis de Lafayette’s sword.

I originally thought that introducing QR codes to first years would open up an opportunity for me to start using them in the library, but I haven’t done anything more with them…yet. Sean got me thinking again. Now that I have some iMovie skills, why not create short videos not just for the library web site but for placement around the building? I don’t think I’ll be investing the kind of time that it took him to create Western Illinois’s zombie video, but I can see placing short videos via QR codes around the building to help explain call numbers, locations, and compact shelving, among other ideas. So I’m going to add this as part of my first iMovie video challenge to myself — that it should be a video that is location-specific and can be accessed via a QR code somewhere in the library building.

Sean mentioned that you can track analytics now on QR usage (they do it using a Google URL shortener and Google Analytics) and that’s really appealing. I know there are plenty of other libraries out there using QR codes in their catalogs and around their buildings, but has anyone been tracking their usage? Is the jury still out on whether QR codes are a fad or a useful technology?

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Winter break in academia

It’s winter break in academia, which is prime time for librarians like me to reflect on the past semester, get through the to-do list that built up during busy times, browse & read, experiment with new programs, take time off, meet with colleagues and faculty, file, and start planning for the coming semester. I’m really enjoying stepping out of my day-to-day work to let ideas percolate. I increasingly believe in turning off the computer every once in a while (I do every Saturday) to just let the dust settle. Here’s my (partial) list of things to do or try over the winter break:

  1. Play around with Mendeley. I’m dissatisfied with RefWorks 2.0 and intrigued by Mendeley’s faculty focus (with its pdf ingestion), the social/sharing aspect, as well as the free price tag. I took an online workshop but need to just spend some time playing with it in both its desktop and web versions.
  2. Work on Bytes & Books, the biannual faculty/staff/Friends newsletter I produce. This is an exciting time for me because I’m working with the College’s Communications Division (thanks, Kevin Hardy!) on an image rehaul. I’m excited to share the before-and-after with you when it’s all done.
  3. Prep for my third time teaching “Marketing Your Library” for the online continuing education program at Simmons GSLIS. I would like to tighten up the readings and assignments in weeks 3 & 4, which focus too broadly on emotional branding, designing messages, word-of-mouth marketing, value, and statistics. This involves doing some reading — on my list are Listening to the Customer and College Libraries and Student Culture: What We Now Know and making some tough decisions about paring down.
  4. Plan my first library web site video. Yesterday, I had a tutorial on iMovie with an instructional technologist on campus (thanks, Jason Alley!) to prepare me to conquer a longstanding goal to produce short videos for the library web site. I took some footage of the (alas, empty) library on a Flip camera that my library dean bought me and was surprised to learn how easy  iMovie is. The hard part for me will be coming up with tight ideas and editing the voice and images into something interesting to look at since I’m not a particularly visual person.
  5. Read, read, read, and come up with a schedule to do more reading. How do you fit blog, magazine, article and book reading into your weekly schedule? My pile of old Library Journals has gotten out of hand.

What are you working on over winter break?

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