Category Archives: flickr

Flickr, Podcasting, Videocasting

Flickr:

  • I loved Westmont Public Library’s new fiction effect – totally cool! Setting clickable areas in the image that link to the library’s record for the title makes it easy for visitors to request the books. Wonder how they manage hold lists when they get really long …
  • Hennepin County’s teen trading cards were sweet – great way to recognize teen council members – or volunteers.
  • I wasn’t so charmed by the Colorado College’s Tutt Library’s photos – they seemed aimed more at staff, and were unedited snapshots.
  • I liked the use of images on the Kansas City Public Library’s site – just enough to entice visitors to click, but not too busy. I also liked that the main image that changes has a selector underneath that indicates how many photos there are, and gives visitors a way to cycle through them, or go back to one they missed.

Podcasts: At first, I was bored by the voice-only podcasts; but found that I really enjoyed the great storytelling of some of the children’s librarians, and especially the guided teen book reviews of the Thomas Ford Memorial Library. The presence of the librarian lends credence to the reviews, and keeps the kids on-track and on-target. I was impressed by the standardized introduction which mentioned the library’s name, and the parts of the review: title, author, plot outline, memorable incident, target audience, and number of stars.

One thing I found annoying was the varying volume levels – some were almost inaudible, even with all my volumes turned up to “kill.”

Videocasts: The more you show, the more you need to have a showable product. It was evident that some libraries took more time with editing, and, while that can’t improve the quality of the speaker/performer, adding visual interest does make up for some shortfalls. I listened to a guitarist, whose presence and song left something to be desired, but the camera effects were splendid! I watched an author speech (cooking with the kennedys) whose presentation both lacked passion and suffered from a boringly monotonous camera.

While videocasts would probably engage today’s young people and provide a way to attend a program vicariously, I believe there has to be something there to engage the viewers, or it sinks to the level of city council meeting videos.

Libraries using images and Flickr

I wrote this post as an assignment for an online class about Web2.0

I thought Kansas City’s web site used images well – they highlighted and accented the services and programs offered, and added visual accents for their pages. I was disappointed that their OPAC was offline when I looked at the site this evening, so couldn’t follow links from images to the OPAC.

I didn’t think Tutt Library used images to best effect in their Flickr account – they looked like very informal snapshots of staff and staff work areas – maybe of interest to staff, but not to me, as public. Because others can view them, I think they should be more discriminating about what gets posted.

Hennepin County – what can I say? – It must be a trip to work for a library that allows its staff to play! I particularly liked their use of Flickr toys to create trading cards of their teen board. That would be a great way to feature the children’s librarians, Friends of the Library, volunteers … Hennepin had their photos organized into slideshows on discrete topics – a good way to advertise programs.

Westmont had the most innovative use of Flickr I’ve seen to date – their new books and new DVDs displays use Flickr tools to select jackets and create notes and links to the catalog, where patrons can place holds. What a great way to put their catalog right out there!

I know our library will be undergoing a major web site re-design in the next year or two – I’m sure we’ll be incorporating something like these uses of images. I’m glad I had a chance to look at them, and I’ll recommend our web team look at them, too.