Archive for August, 2009

Faculty Newsletter 2.0

August 25, 2009 Leave a comment

Like many liaison Librarians, I prepare a welcome back newsletter for my faculty.  In it, I tell them what has changed over the summer and remind them about the resources and services that we provide.

Well, it might be a stretch to claim that my faculty newsletter falls under the heading of “web 2.0,” but it’s certainly different from anything I’ve ever done before.  In past years, I’ve written and done the layout for my newsletter using Microsoft Publisher and, thanks to the templates available, they’ve come out OK.  This year, however, I wanted to do something different; something that might catch their attention a little more.  It didn’t take me long to decide – this year, instead of writing a print document, I’d create a video newsletter.

Of course, that’s easier said than done.  At first I was all set to use a piece of software called Jing Pro, which would allow me to record video of myself talking as well as screen shots from my computer.  It was very simple to record all the material I needed.  The only problem was that the sound of my voice and the video of my lips moving were not in sync – disconcerting to say the least and very distracting.  Plan B was to use Jing to record the screen casts of the online resources that I wanted to demo and QuickTime Pro to record the video of me talking.  After many, many, takes, I got all the material I needed and threw it, along with a few photos, into iMovie.  Several edits later, I had my video newsletter.  You can see it for yourself by clicking here (Here’s an alternative version that runs using QuickTime).  It runs about 13 minutes.

I’ll be the first to admit that it’s not perfect.  There are production problems, such as the volume changing from one clip to another.  I’m also not the most lively narrator there is and I could have been much more precise in terms of my message.  Still, I’m pretty pleased with the outcome.  I’ve shot video before, but I’ve never really put something together from so many different sources, which was a great learning experience.  I also learned a great deal about the amount of time it takes to make even a halfway decent video.  Of course, I also hope that my faculty learn a thing or two about all the changes that have taken place in the library this summer.  After all, that was the whole reason for doing this in the first place.