Tuesday, 3 August 2010

Casting a spell or the Newton Blues

One can watch, and watch, and watch all the "pods and pieces" on YouTube and other sites. It is like being under a spell ("podcasted" on us). How about going to the theatre, concert or cinema for a change?
I do watch podcasts occasionally when I miss something "not-to-be-missed" on TV.
I watch also so called "song covers" posted by my daughter and her friend on YouTube. Quite often my friends send me short YouTube podcasts- sometimes funny, sometimes interesting. Now I know how to embed them (podcasts, not friends) in my emails and take revenge! Just joking. I like all of the things emailed by my friends.
I have never imagined that there are so many podcasts about libraries and librarians. Very many of those published on YouTube however, sorry to say this, are not worth watching, some are funny, some educational, some both funny and interesting. I believe that a well prepared podcast, not too long and not too boring, might introduce some life to a usually not extremely exciting induction sessions.

I am not sure that the example above is the right one, but it is not too bad a music break when one needs to present the Dewey system to young people.
A variety of forms in a library blog (if there is one on), which might be used in library induction sessions, study skill sessions or in whatever other study training a library offers, may improve the quality of such training and increase interest in libraries and their work. Providing that we do not exaggerate or use too much technology, forgetting about real life contact with our users. I suppose adding something like a short video (podcast) presenting all of our eight libraries including a walk through Cambridge to illustrate where these places are located, how to gain access to them and how do they look like not just on flat photographs or maps, might enrich our intranet website.
I do not think that in our library inductions this sort of innovation will be introduced soon. Until we, the library staff, have some brilliant ideas (Newton Blues or Circulation Polka perhaps?), means and time to produce our own podcast, we will continue with our traditional tours and induction talks.


  1. I think that a video tour of how to find all the libraries would be really useful! Or, even better, a video explaining how to borrow books without recourse to the green folder! But then you'd need to write instructions on how to access the video...

  2. How about a video "Circulation Polka" with the Green Folder as a dancing partner?