Friday, 24 April 2009

First mobile video

Created my first "mobile friendly" video - a quick tour of one of the floors of the library. I've just done it as a series of photographs interspersed with nice large chunks of text, so hopefully easy to see on a small screen!

I've put the version online I've tried on my windows mobile device. It looks okay to me on a small screen, so I'll be tidying it up and creating a few more in 2 different formats and giving them to people to test with some trial phones as soon as I can...

Here's a QR code that links to it in various formats on MoLeTV:

Sunday, 19 April 2009

Mobile videos

I'll try and create my first mobile friendly videos next week.

We've a few videos created in Captivate that I want to convert from flash to MP4 / 3GP files - so I've ordered a bit of software to help convert them (sothink SWF to video convertor) as I should fairly easily be able to update and adapt the Captivate videos to be better for a small screen even though they are a nightmare to convert to any other format!

I also need to create some from scratch, but still not sure the best way to go about it. To start with I might just create one or two "slideshow" type videos combining a series of static pictures with text captions and slides - probably with an audio commentary. I'm guessing that taking this simple option will let me create something easy to view on a small screen. I could probably use something rubbishy like Windows Movie Maker to do this as well, which will save the massive effort it takes to get anything else installed on our work PCs.

Brief presentation in Bradford

The YU-INFOSKILLS group are organising an event in Bradford on 12th June on using new technologies to help students develop their information skills. They’ll be a couple of talks in the morning followed by a series of people from University libraries within Yorkshire and the Humber region showing what their currently working on or have recently developed. I’ve volunteered to show off what we’re doing with QR codes at Huddersfield University and hopefully I’ll take along 2 or 3 ‘phones for people to play with…

Thursday, 9 April 2009

Feedback from LILAC

Had some nice feedback from the talk I gave at LILAC, including blog postings from Vicki Owen; Matt Borg; and Sarah Whittaker.

Couple of other people got in touch as well to ask what we were doing with mobiles in the library, in true librarian style I'm happy sharing anything we're doing - as long as others let me know what they're up to as well!

Links to full text of journals

One of the things I want to do is link the print journals collections with our electronic holdings. Thanks to Dave Pattern I now have a set of labels (waiting to be printed) that link to SFX to search our electronic holding.

I'll be putting these on the boxes we keep each current years journal in, so if they are scanned they will try and link through to the electronic holdings of that journal. We'll just be doing floor 6 for now, which is where we keep our business, law, computing and engineering materials. We can keep track of how many people have used the link, so hopefully we'll get some good data as to how useful it is.

QR codes project

Over the coming year I've received some funding to spread QR codes around our (University of Huddersfield) library.

Dave Pattern (hello Dave!) had already put them on our catalogue just a few weeks ago.

So far the outline plan is to:

1) Survey all students coming into the library on a particular day to check awareness of QR codes and then repeat this in a years time.
2) Put QR codes on all our printed journal boxes linking to SFX which will check our online holdings - so print journals link up with electronic.
3) Put some directional codes (containing just text) in various places (so scan the one for law on floor 4 of the library, small staircase and it could display text saying "go up 2 floors, turn left and you will pass first the law journals, then law reports, then get to the books.".
4) Link some QR codes with mobile friendly videos and display then put them in the places where the help would be needed most (e.g. "how to use the copiers" near each photocopier.
Put codes in a lot of the printed guides to link to relevant online resources or contact details.
5) Find an interesting way of promoting what the codes actually are! May be able to get a little game set up by September...

Story so far...

I've recently been investigating the use of mobile 'phones with our library, in particular for in teaching information literacy and just gave a talk at LILAC (Librarians Information Literacy Annual Conference) about it.

One concrete service has come out of it so far, a text a librarian service for the University library.

However, I've just been given some money to introduce QR tags in the library with the intention of blurring some of the boundaries between the physical library and the mobile / online world. I've also been given a small award to introduce some mobile friendly materials onto our induction webpages and link them to a series of text messages that students would be able to sign up to in the first term at University.

This blog will be my attempt to keep track of what I've done and when (so I can write it up "officially" later!), plus what I think has worked and what hasn't.