#83 Video Tutorials

Video Tutorials

Let’s be honest, pupils (or staff for that matter) don’t like big, hefty manuals or instruction sheets. They like to see lots of pictures and step by step instructions.

Or even better, a visual video guide. These are incredibly easy to create with free software such as Cam Studio. The software comes with its own detailed manual. Get access to a headphone/microphone headset, and you’re off.

For examples of library catalogue guides created with this software, see the Perth College website; click on the list items under short tutorials.

#64 Staff Manual

Staff Manual

For a lone librarian, this one might seem impossible. Where am I going to get the time to create a staff manual?

Also, it will only be of benefit to other people, won’t it?

Well, no. Not really. It’s a good CPD exercise for a librarian (or any other professional) to create a staff manual. It gives you a snapshot of what you’re actually doing and how you’re doing it. You may look at some procedures along the way, and decide that change is required.

It may also save your bacon if you’re off ill for any length of time, or anyone needs to take over your operation for any reason.

What kind of things should you look at? Here’s some suggestions:

University of Waterloo Library Manuals

School Library Handbook (Philidelphia, USA)

Handbook For High School Librarians

For Visually Impaired Users

#19 Dummy Guides

Dummy Guides

There are many guides and manuals on the market which describe themselves as ‘dummy’ guides, or guides for the uninitiated.

These types of guides are invaluable in libraries. You should create them for as many processes and topics as you can find time for, from such things as borrowing a book, through logging on to the school network, to creating a web page.

For ‘dummy’, I would actually substitute the word ‘clear’. This is really the point of these guides; clarity.

Rules for construction of these guides could be summarised as follows:

  • Use clear, non-technical language.
  • Use lots of relevant illustrations and graphics.
  • Construct the guide in a step-by-step format.
  • Illustrate each step.
  • Use arrows and text boxes to illustrate points further, if necessary.

These guides are time consuming to create, but the outcomes can be very satisfying for the librarian, the pupil and the teacher, and are worth the time invested.

See other tips: Google, Blogger, deli.cio.us for some practical examples.