As a librarian-in-the-making, I have had some experience with setting up different educational websites and training aids—I run the site for my small educational business, for example, but until my recent experience in my Information Literacy Instruction course, I wasn’t comfortable with the tools and speed librarians need to help patrons. I want my instructional materials to be clear, easy to use, and to look clean and appealing, but getting everything just right can be a challenge. This is something I’m still learning as I go, and I thought it might be helpful to share some of the resources I’ve used recently.
Depending on the organization and environment, librarians can get a lot of email inquiries! The combination of responding with both written email responses and a pointed video tutorial to help teach and train people in searching for information can be a very effective strategy in meeting patron needs. Some people learn best through written instructions and others prefer visual aids and guidance—this approach meets both needs.
Creating video tutorial tools could be a challenge in certain environments such as noisy public areas or very quiet areas where students or patrons are attempting to study, however, they’re very useful in flexible environments and I could see them as especially helpful for providing instruction through the library’s online chat reference help service.
One option–Jing is free, easy to set up and easy to use: https://www.techsmith.com/jing-tool.html
Also from Jing, and low-cost, Snagit allows easy uploading directly to YouTube: http://shop.techsmith.com/store/techsm/en_US/pd/productID.289742700
I’ve been thinking about how to incorporate similar tutorials for aspects of the educational program I run. For example, we require students to record and upload videos to YouTube for certain assignments and we see a wide range in tech preparedness. Some students need supportive help and it can be an additional stressor for them to figure out some of the video basics. They already have a lot on their plate, so offering simple tutorials could help to alleviate unnecessary stress. This seems like the goal to work toward in any educational setting—if we are able to minimize stress in any way so that it becomes manageable for the learner, they are better able to absorb the new material and put it into practice.
Google sites for quick and simple LibGuides: https://sites.google.com
I can see that I still have a lot to learn, but I was encouraged by the ways in which free or low-cost tech options can serve librarians in assisting patrons. The educational practices I have been focusing on for my assignments in class, and my practice with my students outside of class, help me to keep these tutorials as simple, clear, and concise as possible, and the tools make it pretty easy to do.
What information literacy tools are you using in your school or library? Please let us know in the comments below!