Skip to main content

Follow the Screener

When I first became a staff training instructor over 20 years ago, if we wanted to illustrate how to use a particular software or navigate a certain website, we had to take screen-shots that we saved as JPEG images, to which we would add text showing where to click or what to do.  Then we'd import the images into MS-Word or WordPerfect documents.  I wrote training manuals for hospital employees to use payroll software, patient record databases, or MS-Windows programs.  If we were really fancy, we'd prepare a PowerPoint slideshow.

In recent years, trainers have been using screen-capturing software to track their mouse movements on screen that they can incorporate into a video illustrating how to use a particular software or web-based interface.  Of course, my library is just now getting around to purchasing such software, and I've begun experimenting with it.

If, like me, you're new to this screen-capturing world, you might find that the software we use suits your needs:  Debut Professional 3.01, sold by NCH Software, is available for around $50 or less.  Learn more about its many features here.

The program has been reasonably user-friendly.  So far, I've attempted fairly primitive screen-capture videos, but simple is good, especially given my limited technological skills.  Here's an example of one of our "how-to" videos we created using Debut.  We've tried doing voice-over along with screen-capturing, using Audacity software, but inserting text boxes over the screen is easier.


Making Room Reservations Online (2017),
by Mooresville Public Library

My video's not going to win any awards, but our Evanced (now Demco) users might be able to follow along and learn how to make basic room reservations.

There are dozens of different screen-capture software brands available, including Snagit, Ashampoo Snap, Faststone Capture, FullShot Pro, ScreenHunter Pro, Hypersnap, Easy Screen Capture, CaptureWiz Pro, Any Screen Capture, and SPX Instant Screen Capture, all of which range from roughly $20-$80 each.  Some have more features than Debut, some fewer, but all will probably do the job reasonably well.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

"Library Spokescritters" Social Media Success Stories

Previously, we discussed how libraries could use "spokescritters" (i.e., resident animals) to promote their services and collections.  Many of these "spokescritters" have taken to social media as their primary promotional vehicles.  How successful have they been?
Consider Mooresville (Indiana) Public Library's feline roving reporter, Cauli Le Chat.  Her blog, Cat's Eye View @ MPL, has been viewed extensively--as of right now, it has 475,341 viewings.  We saw this graphic from yesterday's blog posting:
Total Blog Viewings (as of February 24, 2018) Cat's Eye View @ MPL
Mooresville Public Library (MPL) serves Brown Township in Morgan County, Indiana, which has a population under 15,000.  Furthermore, Cauli Le Chat officially "retired" as roving reporter early last year, because she doesn't get out as much as she used to (she once lived down the street and would hangout outside the library--hence her "roving reporter" status), and al…

Book Challenges Due to Social Media Exposure

I work at Mooresville (Indiana) Public Library, and we occasionally receive challenges to items in our collections (usually books) that some patrons consider offensive, unfair, or contrary to their particular religious or value system.  Most of these challenges come verbally from irate patrons complaining to the circulation desk staff.  The library provides a written form in which patrons may explain their objections to specific items and their reasons, but, not surprisingly, many people don't want to commit their attacks to writing.  It's much easier to simply bellow at library staff and demand that the "undesirable" materials be removed "immediately."
We insist that the form be completed before an independent committee will review any complaints.  When patrons fill-out the form, they often cannot identify passages or page numbers upon which the offending words or ideas were presented.  That, of course, if because many people who challenge books and wish to…

Using Video to Promote ALA Banned Books Week

When promoting ALA Banned BooksWeek (BBW), most librarians have probably turned to the ol' reliable book display, like so:

Click images to enlarge

Book displays are great.  They centralize selected items, focus patrons' attention on a particular topic or theme, and they're relatively easy and inexpensive to produce.  But they're just so, well, static.  Stuff just sits there until patrons come along.
Another popular static medium we use to promote BBW is the customized book mark.

These take a bit more work but are fine as promotional tools, as far as they go.
How about something more, say, techno-savvy?


2018 Banned Books Week Promo Trailer by Mooresville (Indiana) Public Library

2016 Banned Books Week Promo Trailer by Mooresville (Indiana) Public Library

Since 2010 my library has used videos to promote BBW.  There are the promo trailer variety (above) that help stimulate interest, and these are reasonably effective (some of ours have been viewed thousands of times).  Book trailer…