Thursday, May 17, 2007

Tune in to Steven Bell live tomorrow

I'll be at the LACUNY Institute tomorrow, which is about the easiest conference in the world for me to attend, as it is held every May four floors above me in the library building here at Baruch College. For those of you like me who find it hard to get to conferences out of town, you might be interested to know that Baruch is trying an experiment of livestreaming the keynote speaker, Steven Bell, whose talk is titled “Reversing the Technology Ratchet: Using Design Thinking to Align Hi-Tech and Hi-Touch” (description here). Tune in by 9:15 am EST.

On his post today on Designing Better Libraries, Bell reminded me of the plan to stream his presentation. If the camera happens to pan the room, look for me (I'll try to wave).

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Friday, January 26, 2007

Screencasts for chat reference training

A week ago, my library at Baruch College started officially sharing its subscription to QuestionPoint with the libraries at three other CUNY schools: Brooklyn College, Hunter College, and the CUNY Graduate Center. We are still in a soft launch period now, as the librarians at those other schools will need some time to get acclimated to doing chat reference as part of the 24/7 Reference Academic Cooperative that QuestionPoint offers.

For the purposes of training my colleagues in our consortium about how to use QuestionPoint for chat reference, I slapped together a wiki (I never seem to run out of reasons to launch a new wiki) with links to QuestionPoint documentation, contact info, and a shared schedule. I've also finally had a good reason to try using Macromedia Captivate, which had been installed on my machine for a month unused (!), to create some screencasts. My hope is that these screencasts will cut down on the time I have to spend on the phone or composing e-mails with step-by-step instructions.

So far, I've got a screencast explaining how to create personal scripts in QuestionPoint and another demonstrating how to assign a resolution code at the close of a chat session. I must confess to have really enjoyed the process of recording the screencast and then tinkering with the pacing and special effects. I hope to have a half dozen of these screencasts done by the end of winter. Any feedback (in the comments section) on what I've done so far would be greatly appreciated. If you feel like nosing around our humble little wiki, you can do so here.

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