Refocusing

Unsurprisingly, I’m going to refocus this blog on archival issues. I’ve just been named an intern for the Reference, Access, and Outreach Section of the Society of American Archivists, and my primary job is to blog for them.  I only have to write two blog posts for the entire year, but that would be kind of a waste.  What I want to do is to feature how archival repositories use Web 2.0 technologies, and basically give examples of what each place is doing.  How I imagine this working is just posting, every week or so, and showing what one particular institution is doing.  Then at the end, maybe do some wrap up and talk about what archives overall are doing.  I will probably be running those articles here as well, so that I can have them all one place with the rest of my “learned writings.”  I’ll be interspersing these writing with, hopefully, other writings about archives and archival issues, as well as updates about my master’s paper.

First step for my master’s paper

So I’m starting the grand push towards creating/writing my master’s paper. What I want to do is to create a web tutorial for how to use the new finding aids in Wilson Library.  Davis Library, the main academic library on campus, has a set of ShowMe Tutorials.  They seem to be a combination of a regular video with a power point presentation, and they are created with Adobe Captivate.  Davis Library has a whole slew of these tutorials, for things like searching the catalog, how to read an LC call number, and all sorts of things that you need to know to how to use the library.

The original plan for my paper was to create a video showing how to use our new finding aids and do a usability test on the people who have viewed the video, probably comparing them with people who have not viewed the video.  The scope of my project, however, is expanding.  After talking with people in Research and Instruction for Archival Collections, we’ve decided that we actually want a whole slew of videos, including ones for how to fill out a call slip and a general overview of the three primary 4th-floor collections (the Southern Historical Collection, the Southern Folklife Collection, and University Archives and Records Service), among a few others.  Now, I’m not sure if these will all be included in my paper, and most likely they will not be.  But part of the paper will probably be about the process of creating this tutorials to begin with and so they may be included in that way.  Or maybe my paper will change into more of a project rather than research, and document the creation of all of these videos.  Who knows!  I have a meeting with my advisor in a couple of hours, so I guess I’ll start to find out then.

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