Even though the deadline for the 23 Things Kansas experience has officially come and gone, there’s only a few more left for me to do, so this week will be my Shermanesque march to the sea.
I created a short screencast, which is like a YouTube video, but the camera captures what’s going on on my computer, with a voiceover. The screencast is ideal for computer-based tutorials, where the goal is to show a step-by-step process on how to do something. Since the experience is captured on video, the user can watch it again, pause, and rewind. This works amazingly well for the library – you can post short tutorials showing patrons how to use library services that might seem difficult or incomprehensible to the outsider. One of the things I’ve learned while working at the library is that teaching is a significant part of librarianship – it’s one thing to find information for patrons, but if you do a little bit of teaching to them along the way, it makes the patron much more satisfied and empowers them to use more library services. It’s a process of demystification, with a bit of that whole “give a man a fish, and he’ll eat for a day, teach a man to fish, and he’ll eat for a lifetime” maxim thrown in for good measure.
One of my long-term goals at my place of work is to help redesign one of our webpages, and I certainly plan to push for posting screencasts and tutorials. While there are several screencasting applications out there, I liked Screencast-O-Matic, an entirely web-based source that was quick and easy to use.
Feel free to not watch my first ever screencast – it goes on for far too long and my voice is horrible, but you gotta start somewhere: