Audio/Video Guides for the Medical Library (Podcasts)

Before we left for our trip to Spain last year, I downloaded a bunch of audio files about major traveler’s destinations in Barcelona. The idea behind these was that you loaded them into your portable audio player and they replaced the need for a tour guide or an audio guide from the site being visited. I liked them. It was convenient, inexpensive to produce or use, and it was great the way the audio complimented and enhanced visits to museums and works of Gaudi’s architecture. I wondered at the time: Why can’t libraries have audio guides that walk the user through the library and the use of its tools?

Are any medical libraries doing this?

A friend emailed me to tell me that the University of Tennessee Health Sciences Library is producing podcasts. This video podcast is about accessing and using Scopus.

I love the idea that a user could put on his or her headphones, sit down at a Library computer, and play with the tool while watching/listening to a tutorial on the use of that tool.

Screen Capture: Scopus podcast

This particular podcast would be greatly improved if it contained more information on actually USING Scopus. Walking the user through a search, for instance, would be really cool. Also, with such a speech-heavy video where the images are often just background, they might reinforce some of the information being spoken. If nothing else, stuff like the Information Desk’s telephone numbers, email address, and web address need to be reinforced visually, and it isn’t difficult or time-consuming to add text to video.

Regardless, providing instructional video on the use of library tools that the user can listen to or watch on his/her iPod while in the library is a great idea. It is probably also cost effective, considering how many university students have iPods of their own.

8 thoughts on “Audio/Video Guides for the Medical Library (Podcasts)

  1. Hi Ratcatcher!

    I like the post at Tame the Web, but the uses Michael discusses involve loaning iPods to help users enjoy content that others produced.

    I’d like to hear about libraries that loan out iPods pre-loaded with content created by the library that help users familiarize themselves with the library and its offerings.

  2. Pingback: » Blog Archive » Follow-up: iPods for library training