library videos

I wonder about using videos on library web sites. Many libraries have video virtual tours, but I’m not sure if they ever help anyone find their way in the library. I don’t think that using videos for library instruction works all that well, although I do like the idea of using screencasts that show an animated search in a library database. I haven’t developed many screencasts, although I do have Macromedia Captivate, and I’ve used it for some very short tutorials.

I’m not sure what purpose tutorials like this serve. Although it is always nifty to see libraries experimenting with technology on their web site, I’m not too crazy about the content of the videos. There are a couple amusing bits (like the professor appearing in a cloud), but most of it looks like a skit that someone might act out to show future librarians how NOT to do a reference interview. This video triggered one of my big pet peeves – if you give your library catalog a cute nickname and joke about how people can’t understand the cute nickname, why not just drop the nickname already?! The most informative parts of the videos were the animations of how to use the library web site, and the image was too small to actually see any of the search examples.