Need a way to teach web technology in short segments? Consider a screencast. Jeanie Phillips at the Chester Andover Elementary School offers basic instruction on searching the library catalog with her short video made with Jing. Jeanie also recommends screencasting with quicktime, available on the newest Mac operating system.
Screencasts make sense for showing library customers how to search the catalog, how to place a reserve, or how to use the Vermont Online Library. Check out some free application sites for making screencasts at MakeUseOf.com
Mary White, director of the Howe Library and previously of the library at Marlboro College, has used the Rapid Reviews format in two different libraries. The Marlboro College version: faculty members and library staff choose favorite books to talk about. The presentations happen before final exams– when students need a quick break.
Mary revamped the idea for outreach in Hanover, NH. She created a program for the Rotary Club by having staff choose favorites a few months in advance; making sure the library had a copy of every book; creating a list in alphabetical order; and then holding the program. At the Rotary meeting, staff members reviewed their books, moving down the list in order. After the reviews, Rotarians could check out any of the books on the spot. (Staff just noted names and did the actual work back at the library.) Everyone went home with the list of the books– which included room to jot notes as the reviewers went along.
The Rapid Review format is a quick positive book talk, just enough information to whet the reader’s appetite. Allow about one to two minutes for each book.
Brownell Library held a spelling bee with two teen teams, a staff team, and a trustee team. Kat Redniss, the Young Adult Librarian, printed out word lists from Scripps Howard and gave them to the teams a couple months in advance.
The teams created their own names and slogans, made t-shirts, and trashed talked each other playfully. Teams were able to get sponsors on their own. Sponsors, including local businesses, personal friends, and families, could donate any amount of money.
At the event, the Library held a bake sale with treats baked by staff and trustees, had a bowl out for donations, and held a raffle. People bought raffle tickets and then put their ticket into the container of the team they thought would win. The raffle winner was drawn from the bee winner’s container. The winner got a portion of the money and the library got the rest. (The winner gave most of the money back to the library.) Kat reports, “This was a blast, fun competition, literacy-oriented, and productive! Brownell Library raised over $1100.”
Need resources? Check out the Scripps Howard website for specific directions to hold one of their patented fundraising bees; or try the Merriam Webster website for Scripps Howard word lists. The Scripps Howard website includes ideas to build excitement such as dressing in black and yellow (bees) or showing the documentary “Spellbound.”