Screencast – LibX for staff and students


About nine months ago I made a screencast about the LibX, the Firefox Extension that puts the library into the user’s space. This was to explain to library staff how the tool worked and why it would be useful in our library.

A couple of months ago I made another screencast, this time aimed at our library users.The LibX toolbar was released live at MPOW a couple of weeks ago.

I thought I’d post a bit about the decisions I made when creating the screencast, aimed at those who haven’t really tried screencasting before.

LibX is a very complex tool with many features. Instead of explaining absolutely everything LibX can do, I just highlighted five features that I thought would be most useful to staff and students. These were:

  1. Searching the library straight from the toolbar
  2. Any ISBN on any browsed page being hotlinked back to a search in our library
  3. Our logo being inserted into pages like so that users could check whether the library has a book
  4. Link resolver (SFX) inserted in Google Scholar, so users can click to get full text of journal articles
  5. Being able to right click on any passworded site to see whether the library provides access – and then enter login and password to get straight to the site.

Even if LibX only did those five, we would have released it, so I looked on any other functions as extras that the staff and students could find out for themselves. It made it a lot easier to work out what to say…and was a bit of “letting go of perfect“.

It was my first attempt at using Camtasia Studio. Before I began recording, I opened all the windows that I would need for the demo – one already on, one on Google Scholar etc.- and then just clicked on them to bring them to the front when I talked about them.

I didn’t have long to do it, so I thought ” I’m just going to run through this and leave in any mistakes” – more letting go of perfect. I’m not sure it was a useful decision, but I think I sound more natural and conversational once I get going, and that maybe mistakes actually wake people up and make them re-engage with the material. Then again, I may just sound like an unprofessional dork.

The only comment on the video at is “Your voice scares me”, so maybe Andy Powell is right when he muses that “our desktop use of audio and video in particular tends to highlight an amateurish approach to production. ” (What Web2.0 teaches us … )

The audio level is rather low, and uploading it seemed to make it even quieter on some sites. I tried uploading to YouTube, and viddler. gave the least fuzzy screens when I embedded it elsewhere. Next time I would probably try using something like Tubemogul, which allows you to do just one upload that is then distributed to many photo sharing sites.

Anyhow, here’s the video from, Murdoch University Library Toolbar (LibX) .

Video thumbnail. Click to play
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