Library Gazette

During November 2012...

“Love is Louder Than” Postcard Project

Friday, November 30, 2012 4:04 pm

Love is Louder Than Postcard project

ZSR sponsored a student led project this fall called “Love is Louder Than.” The idea was to have postcards on campus with the line: Love is Louder Than……. and allow students to fill in the blank with words, ideas or drawings. The postcards were mailed on campus during the semester and collected by the students in the project. The postcards were then attached to poster boards.

The concept behind this project was to focus on positive ideas during a stressful time (like final exams) and offer support as well as a way of expressing feelings. Love is Louder is also a national movement begun to support anyone feeling mistreated, misunderstood or alone. The LILT students put all the postcards and a banner in the ZSR Atrium. This is a grassroots project, totally run by students who wanted to do something positive.

Please take the time to read the postcards which are near Circulation and near the stairs in the atrium.

New Religion Exhibit

Thursday, November 29, 2012 5:01 pm

Student Religion exhibit

This week, I’ve worked with students in Dr. Lucas Johnston’s Religion 101: Introduction to Religion class. The students worked both in ZSR and on their own to create this exhibit as a final project. Take a look as you come and go.

LIB200 Courses Available for Spring 2013

Monday, November 26, 2012 1:38 pm

Interested in learning more about research methods in your major? Getting ready to work on an honors thesis? Thinking about going on to graduate school after you leave Wake Forest? ZSR’s advanced research courses could work for you!

Our LIB200 courses offer instruction in advanced research techniques and resources that are specific to a particular discipline. These 1.5 credit courses are open to declared majors and minors in appropriate departments. The LIB200 courses available for Spring 2013 are:

LIB210: Social Science Research Sources & Strategies

for Communication, Political Science, Anthropology, Sociology, Education, Psychology…

  • January 16 – March 8
  • TR 11:00am-12:15pm
  • CRN 14894

LIB220: Science Research Sources & Strategies

for Biology, Chemistry, Physics & Health & Exercise Science…

  • January 16 – May 1
  • R 2:00pm-3:15pm
  • CRN 18910

LIB230: Business & Accounting Research Sources & Strategies

  • January 17 – March 7
  • TR 3:30pm-4:45pm
  • CRN 14895

LIB250: Humanities Research Sources & Strategies

for Art, Music, Theatre & Dance, English, History, Religion, Classics, Philosophy…

  • January 16 – March 8
  • TR 12:30pm-1:45pm
  • CRN 14896

New Video Efforts

Tuesday, November 13, 2012 4:58 pm

One of my goals for my first year is to do a complete refresh of all of the content in the Toolkit. In my role serving online students, I understand the power of video in teaching library tools and selling the library as the place to go for research assistance, technology training, and self-help. Having a digital space like the Toolkit–a centralized location for all of our video and other digital learning objects–is incredibly valuable for reaching students and faculty both on campus and online. However, when a space like the Toolkit starts to show its age, we risk losing a bit of credibility. For as much power as they have, videos quickly become outdated as web interfaces or link paths change. It’s also no secret that we’re bound by constraints on our time, so producing video of high production quality often takes a back seat, resulting in videos that look outdated before their time.

So, to help restore the Toolkit to its former glory and to put in place more sustainable workflows, I’ve started using Camtasia Studio to create what I hope are high-polish, ZSR-quality videos that will stand the test of time. I just finished my first one–a teaser video for Zotero–and wanted to share how I did it.

Scripting

With any video project, I find it’s much easier to get the audio down first and make it perfect before worrying about capturing video. I’m not one for improv, so that means writing a script first and paring it down to what’s really essential to get the message across. Our users don’t expect elaborate, drawn-out explanations; they’re watching the video because they hope it will save them time. If the content requires a video much longer than two minutes, it should probably be split into two separate videos. So to keep things brief, I scripted and timed myself rehearsing the script. I kept paring it down until I was comfortably under two minutes, and only then was it finally time to record.

Audio Recording

The scripting and audio recording take up the bulk of the time, but I’d argue that they’re the most important parts. Even the shiniest video will be ignored if there’s annoying background noise or if the speaker is rambling or talks too quickly or too quietly. I used Camtasia to record myself reading through the script twice three four times, then cut and spliced the best parts into the final audio track. So the video doesn’t feel quite so librarian-sitting-in-an-office-talking-at-you, I used a royalty-free guitar track that came packaged with Camtasia to add some interest.

Screen Recording

Now that I had the audio ready to go, it was pretty easy to record the screen. Screen capture is really what Camtasia was made to do, and it does it beautifully. All I had to do was mentally map out my mouse clicks, record a few run-throughs of each “scene,” and I was ready to edit.

I want to note here the significance of recording audio and video separately. One of the major weaknesses of using free, web-based screen recorders like Jing is that you can’t separate the audio from the video; that is, when something in your video changes, like a database interface, you have to re-record the entire video to bring your video up to date. By separating the audio and video, I can feasibly use the same audio track and only update those portions of the video that need updating, saving tons of effort in the long run.

Editing, Callouts, and Text

To bring everything together, I had to manipulate the video clips to match up with the audio. Because this particular video was more of a teaser and not intended to be a “how-to,” I sped up the video clips to keep everything flowing quickly. I focused the user’s attention with some appropriate zooming and panning, then added photos, text, and colored backgrounds when there was no video to display. You’ll notice I like big, bold text that’s readable even on the smallest smartphone screen.

Accessibility Concerns

Finally, to make the video accessible to those with hearing impairments and to those who might not have a pair of headphones in a quiet room, I added a caption track that the user can turn on and off in YouTube. Camtasia makes this almost absurdly easy: all I had to do was copy and paste my transcript into my project, then Camtasia guided me through time-stamping the caption track to sync with the audio.

Looking Ahead

I plan on working my way through the content on the Toolkit as determined by the needs of the online counseling program. I already have planned an entire series of Zotero tutorials, followed by tutorials for the PsycInfo and PubMed databases. If you have ideas for videos I can add to my queue, or if you have a special project in mind, I’m all ears. I hope you enjoy!

 

Hunger and Homelessness Week Exhibit

Thursday, November 8, 2012 9:23 am

Hunger and Homelessness Exhibit

I was approached by Mo Earley, an undergraduate student working with Campus Kitchen to do an exhibit for Hunger and Homelessness Week, November 10-18. There are a number of events during this week which help raise funds and support this event. Turkeypalooza is one such event which ZSR is participating in. Food is donated and then cooked and served to homeless individuals for Thanksgiving. There will also be a 5K run -the Turkey Trot 5K on November 17th. Please take a look at the exhibit and see the other events planned during this week.

A New (Mobile) Home Page

Monday, November 5, 2012 3:16 pm

In a first attempt at creating a more mobile-friendly website*, I have just released a significant update to the home page.

With the help of the web committee (Anna, Chris, Kaeley, Lauren, and Rebecca) to test and discuss changes throughout the process, I have worked to establish a similar user experience across a range of devices. While the home page will look (and function) as it has on laptops, the changes take effect on devices (and screens) with smaller resolutions, e.g. smartphones, tablets, and e-readers. I should mention that no content disappears for any device; it gets shifted or takes another shape depending on the resolution context.

Take a look at the changes in this selection of screenshots (click the image to view larger):

To see these mobile-friendly changes for yourself, visit zsr.wfu.edu on your smartphone.

While the changes apply only to the home page at this point, I hope to push out updates to additional pages over the next few weeks. Larger goals – creating a more mobile-friendly interface to the catalog or the study rooms app – will require more time and testing.

As always, let me know of any problems, concerns, or suggestions.

* Actually, technically, it’s a second attempt. The first attempt was years ago when PDAs and early cell phones were popular and we used a “handheld” designation to target those very limited devices.

Pages
About
Categories
Archives
Awards
Events
General
Instruction
Outreach
Staff
Technology
Tags
Archives
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
May 2006
April 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
October 2005
August 2005
July 2005

Powered by WordPress.org, protected by Akismet. Blog with WordPress.com.