Creating Sustainable Video Guides for Your Library

December 21, 2015 / by Lindsay Mullen

computer-823609_1920Are you looking for a way to reach students and pass along information, but you just don’t have enough hours in the day to make face-to-face instruction a reality? Video guides may be your answer. Easily uploaded, shared and understood, these guides are a great way to reach your campus community. There’s just one problem: they’re hard to make.

The film students at your higher education institution may dream of being the next Martin Scorcese or Alejandro Jodorowsky, but chances are that you’re too busy making sure your academic library is running smoothly to worry about becoming a groundbreaking director. Here are some of our tips on how to create awesome instructional videos without breaking a sweat.

Determine top topics

Once you begin writing out scripts, you may be tempted to make instructional videos for every topic under the sun. Don’t do it! The filming, editing and uploading process can take a long time, so limit your video resources to those topics that have proven to be consistently in demand. Topics that other academic libraries have focused on include plagiarism and sourcing information ethically, finding sources and navigating your individual library’s many resources.

Keep them accessible

Before you begin making instructional videos, take a moment to reflect on the wide variety of accessibility levels on your campus. Some students may have lightning-fast laptops, while others prefer to get their information via mobile. Some may have difficulty hearing while others learn best through aural stimuli. Whatever students’ needs, you’re responsible for making a video tutorial that works for them.

With accessibility in mind, begin to write out your script. Ensure that sufficient audio cues are provided to help students who can’t see the video (and to cover your bases in case your footage turns out to be less than expected). For example, don’t just say “click here” to indicate how to request an InterLibrary Loan—your script needs to tell viewers exactly what button to click and where it is on the page.

Enlist students to help out

Never forget that your student body is just as much a resource to you as you are to them. Where else can you find a group of motivated, smart and creative youngsters tapped into the needs of their community? Hire a film student as your part-time videographer and see if you can offload editing duties to seniors in exchange for a half credit of coursework. You may end up going down in history as the first benefactor of the next great American filmmaker.

Show your personality!

Low on resources? Afraid to be on camera? Take a cue from Kimbel Library at Coastal Carolina University and include a sock puppet and some great whiteboard illustrations in your videos. Even if their subject matter is something as banal as the difference between scholarly sources and popular sources, a little pizzazz never hurts. Just be sure it doesn’t overshadow the important content you’re discussing.

If you’re looking for some other ways to add value to your institution, don’t miss our new white paper: The Value of the Library on Campus Today. Half how-to guide, half love letter to academic libraries around the world, this paper will give you new ideas into how to reach everyone on and around your campus.

Download Here

Topics: Higher Ed

Lindsay Mullen

Written by Lindsay Mullen

Lindsay Mullen is CEO of Prosper Strategies, working behind the scenes to support the Mango team's world of lovable language learning. A language aficionado herself, Lindsay oversees a team of marketers fluent in public relations, content development and strategy (and they speak some German, French, Spanish and Chinese as well.)

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