We all know the cliche, “a picture is worth a thousand words”, so in age of YouTube and Twitter, Library Instruction Services decided that collapsing our text-heavy web pages into succinct and visually stimulating comics and videos would help bridge new media, instruction-on-demand, and quick reference for our time-strapped undergraduates.
The idea for these short light-hearted videos evolved over time to incorporate comics instead of actor librarians; we’re slightly camera shy here and creating comic alto-egos mean we’ll never have a bad hair day. Staff in Library Instruction Services scripted the vignettes, and our Library Assistant and resident-artist Elise Nacca and Graduate Research Assistant Krystal Wyatt-Baxter used a free version of Bitstrips to create characters and dialogue incorporating the scripted scenarios.
Since their release in September 2010, the Tip Jar posts have covered topics such as how to use Google Scholar, narrowing a topic and placing it in context , finding E-Books and more.
Creating this digital content means that it’s easily distributed and re-purposed depending on student and staff needs. For instance, Tip Jar instructional videos are integrated with a collection of videos created by students from our 2009 Library Video Contest to be used in the Undergraduate Studies First-year Interest Group program as a way to introduce the students to library services in a fun and flexible way. We’ve also included these videos within our online research guides for course-integrated instruction or during a reference exchange over our Ask A Librarian chat service.
The posts run every other Monday on our News For Undergraduates Blog, which also incorporates events, resources, and items of interest for the University of Texas undergrad community. Stop by and get a tip from us!
Cindy Fisher is the First-year Experience Librarian, Library Instruction Services.
Here’s some great news from our colleagues across campus.
The History Department has just launched an informative, interactive history web site. Not Even Past provides current historical writing for a popular audience. For history buffs who want reading recommendations and short, interesting, digestible stories every day, the website offers text, audio, and video histories on subjects that span the globe. The site is designed for anyone who is interested in history, from an avid reader of history to a history film aficionado.
The content and “picks” are written by the department’s 60-person faculty with additional input from the graduate students. Notevenpast.org is rich with book and film recommendations, video interviews, podcasts, online commentary, and even virtual classes (free) every semester.
The History Department’s new site is one-of-a-kind – no other university or institution offers a similar resource. Not Even Past will be identified with the individuals in the History Department at UT, giving readers a personalized experience of great history writing as well as promoting the strengths of the department and the University of Texas. Not Even Past also differs from other History department sites in its stylish visual design and its cutting-edge user-friendly functionality.
And just in case you want to follow up on the current reading recommendations from Not Even Past, they’re all part of the collections at PCL (and currently available).
American slavery, American freedom : the ordeal of colonial Virginia / Edmund S. Morgan.
Disowning slavery : gradual emancipation and “race” in New England, 1780-1860 / Joanne Pope Melish.
Narrative of the life of Frederick Douglass, an American slave / written by himself with related documents ; edited with an introduction by David W. Blight.
There are several ways for alumni and friends to show their pride and support for the University of Texas at Austin. No matter what ranking the Longhorn football team has, there are still several Top Tens on campus. One of which is the University of Texas Libraries.
When you support UT Libraries you are making a direct contribution to the core mission of our University…teaching, learning and research. Contributions, especially in a time of declining state revenue, ensure that current and future students have the books, journals and scholarly research available to them that former generations of students had.
The University of Texas Libraries is where information lives! We encourage you to support one of the top information resources in Texas.
Here are three ways to help provide books, journals and other needed resources for our students and faculty.
1) Join our We ❤ UT Libraries initiative.
2) Adopt your favorite book.
3) Become a Literary Longhorn with a $5,000 annual contribution and enjoy exclusive dinners with distinguished authors and faculty in one of our historic reading rooms; and invitations to tour national and international library collections and archives. Contact Gregory Perrin for detailed information.
There are no great universities without great libraries! Support UT Libraries today!