Rock & Roll Library (videos surfed from the web)
Like anyone else who was raised on a steady diet of Saturday morning cartoons, there's a part of my brain that can't help but respond to animations - even cheezy ones - even (oh no!) library skills instructional videos! Since this is a blog and I'm new to e-journalling I'll fall back on the time-honored tradition of sharing confessions...
Mine is a modest one - I crave the time and patience to do really cool library instructional videos - animations or any kind at all. They could even be cheezy promotional ones and only minimally instructional. Anyway - seeing as I can barely find uniterrupted time to post to this blog, I asked our administrative helper to do a quick survey of library related content in Google Video, just to to feed my dream of producing library videos myself someday. I invite you to check out what she came up with (thanks Regina!) - as well as my thougths about how the various approaches might be successful with a given target audience.
Rock & roll library -
Ok so it's the cheezy tale retold of "Air guitar boy gets books from library and learns how to rock." But the UPitt students were doing it to get credit for a library school course, so hey - it got the basic idea across and fulfilled their requirement. And I think the cheezy quality is probably an asset when you consider the target audience - undergrad's who don't use the library enough. They'll watch it with the sound down while listening to iTunes and instant messaging their buddies about how cheezy it is. While at the same time they might take the edge off any residual library anxiety and get some idea of what the inside of their very attractive library looks like and how cool librarians can help you find stuff. Worth promoting to undergrads in the same half-joking spirit in which it was composed.
A kid's guide to the library
So here's the animation speaking to my reptilian brain. Aside from the fact that we only get to preview the first thirty seconds, if I was a elementary school librarian, I would definitely risk the $2.50 asking price to check this one out. As far as owning the item for repeat screening to kids, it looks like it's one 149 streamed video offerings on the library and research topic from the ClearVue.com company. Pricing to *own* these videos is from $29-$79. Paying two bucks to preview it seems reasonable, but I'd have to see the whole thing to judge the effectiveness of the content. Reptilian brains can be amused by anything, but if y'want the kids to learn something too.... can't tell how this will end up.
Official description: "Explores the use of the fiction, nonfiction, reference, periodical, audio and video sections of the library, as well as discusses the Dewey Decimal and Library of Congress."
My review of first 30 seconds - very cute footage of kids speaking in front of the class from index cards about doing library research while magical realism elements creep into the classroom from all the wonderful things found in the library. I would use this with 5-12 year olds if only because of the composition and the true-to-life setting of the classroom (after seeing the whole thing of course.)
Max's library (for kids)
More ClearVue content - cheery twelve year old girl with big hair conversing with talking computer and mouse puppets a la Sesame Street or ZOOM. Hmmm... big hair kinda dates it. No comment.
A virtual tour in the Library of French Institute Alliance Francaise, New York
My review: Now *this* is informative. Facts and contact info rolled into an introductory package for users or for PR value. But low key. Relaxed pacing, mellow classical background music, soft fades between scenes and fuzzy text captions - gets the basic message across without demanding my full attention - which face it - no video with facts and figures is going to get! This format works for the overloaded webhead who would never otherwise click on the FAQ's for this site. It might even work for the non-web user who could be coaxed to view a short video (under two minutes). It leaves a positive overall impression of the place, which is as much the intent than any of the individual facts. I recommend this fomat for anyone over the age of fourteen. Change the music to pop and it'd work for younger audiences too.
Ludwig von Mises Library, Universidad Francisco Marroquín, Guatemala
Ok. Hmmm. This one is more about the institution than using the library. I guess prospective students would sit through twenty minutes. Or library students studying library architecture or keen to see a historical account of a library's growth. Very professional. Very nice library! But I wouldn't recommend it for general audiences or call it "instructional" in the same way the others are. (If you check it out - let me know how it ends!)
Okay - that's all I've got time for today. But keep your eyes open for this sort of thing and for anyone who wants to see my first instructional efforts on how to use "RefWorks" - see here.