E-book tutorial from the Carmel Clay library.
Online patron tutorials are a way to teach patrons about our resources in a way that they can access from home at any time. They are also used by patrons who are reluctant to ask for help. Usually they are created using a video camera or screencasting software ware such as Captivate or Camtasia.
Online tutorials should be available in several places on the library web site: on a banner with rotating "tutorials of the day", on a dedicated page, next to the resources it discusses (databases, e-books, etc.). They should be promoted on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. Libraries can partner with other agencies. Dallas Public Library offers a tutorial on applying for a job with the city of Dallas. Screencasts can be done in multiple languages, and the software usually has closed captioning.
Requirements for screencasting:
- Time to do it
- Training-can learn screencasting in an hour
- A good microphone
- Screencasting software (there are free options)
- Subject expertise--staff should have this, they train patrons every day!
- Hosting--some libraries pay to have tutorials hosted on their own web site, however there are free sites like YouTube that will do it for you.
Screencasts shouldn't be more than 3 minutes, and they should be light and informal. They don't have to be perfect or have fancy production values.
Should your library use online tutorials?
- Do you have commonly asked questions?
- Do you have resources accessed remotely?
- Do you have excellent resources that aren't getting enough attention?
Handouts and an archived version of the webinar are available here.