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DC/SLA Chapter eNotes – September 2014

DC/SLA Chapter eNotes – September 2014

Featured Article

Announcements

  • DC/SLA Board of Directors Election – This is your chance to weigh in on who you want leading our Community! This year the election will run through 11:59pm EST on September 29.

Event Recaps

President’s Message

What’s Your Theme?

Food for Thought

Upcoming DC/SLA Events

Professional Development

​​Chapter eNotes is an e-newsletter from the DC/SLA Chapter.

  • DC/SLA Communications Secretary – Lisa Haakon Pogue
  • DC/SLA Communications Team – Suzanne Grubb, Jill Lynch, Zeinab A. Mansour, Amber Paranick, Megan Smith, Malea Walker, Jan Zastrow

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Event Recap – Chapter Open House 2014: A Celebration of Members and Volunteers

Event Recap – Chapter Open House 2014: A Celebration of Members and Volunteers

By Kathy Kelly

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DC/SLA drew over 80 attendees at its chapter Open House/Volunteer Appreciation event and membership reception on September 16. The event was held at the National Geographic Society (NGS) Library in D.C., and was sponsored by Proquest and Dow Jones.

As an icebreaker, attendees were asked to write the name of a place, real or imaginary, that they have visited or would love to visit on their name tags. Some interesting places like “The Shire” elicited some interesting ice-breaker chats. The registration table volunteers, Charles Perkins and Lois Steinberg, also distributed Starbucks gift cards to members who had served as volunteers during the year.

Deena Adelman, chapter Program Planning Committee Chair and President-Elect, welcomed attendees, thanked the program host, sponsors, and the event’s planning team of Eileen Deegan, Kathy Kelly, Alicia Pappas, Lois Steinberg, and Maggie Turqman. Chris Vestal, chapter President, described his own interesting career path in terms of how it intersected with his chapter involvement. He provided “Top Banana” figurines to honor all the chapter committee heads, and a Member of the Year Award to Kathy Kelly, the chapter Volunteer Coordinator.

Kathy Kelly is presented with the Member of the Year award.

Kathy Kelly is presented with the Member of the Year award.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter committee heads with their “Top Banana” figurines.

Chapter committee heads with their “Top Banana” figurines.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chris also announced that Kelly Knight and Karen Nimerick were the recipients of the Leadership Summit stipend award, which will support their attendance at the upcoming SLA Leadership Summit in Baltimore (January 21-23, 2015). Jill Strand, President-Elect of SLA, reminded attendees that the SLA Board Election and By-Laws vote was open through September 24th, encouraged attending the 2015 Leadership Summit and Annual Meeting, and discussed other SLA developments.

Alicia Pappas, chapter Membership Director, and Kathy Kelly, chapter Volunteer Coordinator, introduced themselves and gave a warm welcome to members and volunteers. They introduced 9 Committee representatives who came forward to provide 60-second overviews of their committee activities and to encourage joining their groups. The committees included the 75th Anniversary Committee; the Book Club; Communications and Marketing; Employment and Career Resources; International Relations; Military Librarians Group; Program Planning; Social Events; and the Web Team.

Attendees enjoyed an ample beverage bar, and a delightful buffet of Whole Foods goodies, including wraps, quesadillas, cheese and fruit, veggies, and desserts, while they mingled to meet other members, visit with sponsors, view a Prezi presentation compiled by Membership Director Alicia Pappas about the chapter year, and learned about the chapter’s various committees, groups, and activities. The evening provided an opportunity for friends to catch up and members to form new connections, and a chance to participate in a raffle, the prizes for which were 3 beautiful books and some edible treats provided by National Geographic. A committee sign-up sheet attracted people indicating shows of interest in 16 chapter committees.

There was also an optional tour of Hubbard Hall, the original Headquarters building of the National Geographic Society, towards the end of the evening.

There are a variety of volunteer opportunities available in the chapter, such as participating on a committee or hosting an event. Members interested in volunteering should visit the chapter’s Get Involved page or contact the Volunteer Coordinator at volunteer@dc.sla.org.

Thank you to the following people for having volunteered throughout the year to date!

Deena Adelman

Rebecca Aftowicz

Kari Anderson

Raven Austin

Joyce Baker

Jessica Bland

Paul Boccaccio

Jennifer Boettcher

Anne Caputo

Marcy Carrel

Jacquline Chapman

Laura Choyce

Eileen Deegan

Claire D’Mura

Leia Dickerson

Diane Falk

Lila Faulkner

Barbara Ferry

Jon Fiencke

Jessica Fomalont

Morgan Grimes

Trudi Hahn

Layla Heimlich

David Hemingway-Turner

Lisbeth Herer

Wendy Hill

Ramona Howerton

Richard Huffine

Lois Ireland

Michael Jourdan

Marie Kaddell

Samantha Kaplan

Barbie Keiser

Kathy Kelly

Angela Kent

James King

Kelly Knight

Karen Krugman

Alison LaBonte

Betty Landesman

Julia Leggett

Sharon Lenius

Elizabeth Lieutenant

Anne Linton

Mariana Long

Shirley Loo

Jill Lynch

Zeinab Mansour

David McBee

Lily McGovern

Stephen Mellin

Hannah Miller

Victor Monti

Abi Morgan

Susan O’Brian

Greta Ober

Chris Olson

Norma Palomino

Alicia Pappas

Amber Paranick

Charles Perkins

Asheleigh Perry

Kelli Peterson

Lisa Haakon Pogue

Stacey Redick

Dawn Reinhardt

Trudie Root

Bruce Rosenstein

Gretchen Sauvey

Megan Smith

Gabrielle Spiers

Lois Steinberg

Mary Talley

Angela Titone

Maggie Turqman

Kris Vajs

Chris Vestal

Catherine Wagner

Malea Walker

Connie Wiley

Lynora Williams

Ming Wong

Jenny Wood

Diane Wunsch

Jan Zastrow

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Six Steps of Video Production for People Who Don’t Do Videos (Part 2)

Six Steps of Video Production for People Who Don’t Do Videos (Part 2)

By Suzanne Grubb

This “Six Steps” guide is posted in two parts. See Part 1 in the September issue of Chapter eNotes.

In Part 1 of this post, I covered the process for planning and creating a timeline for a library video tour, using a video I recently created as a working example. In Part 2, I’m going to continue on from where we left off, and share some thoughts on the process for creating the video that you (Step 1) planned and (Step 2) drafted a timeline for

 Step 3: Get the Pieces

A note about production.

I’m going to avoid going into the specifics of multimedia production, because we all have our strengths and preferred software.

But I wanted to make the important point that as long as you create a plan that plays to your personal strengths and knowledge, you can use absolutely any video editing software and end up with a clean, well-structured video.

The video tour that I made was my second attempt at a creative video. For my job, I do a lot of editing of lecture/presentation recordings, so I happen to have Song Vegas (professional video editing software) installed on my computer.

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But I could have created this same exact video using Camtasia Studio (a very inexpensive, incredibly easy to learn video editor that I highly recommend for anyone looking to dabble in instructional videos.)

And I could have created about 90% of this video using Powerpoint to create the static visuals

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And Windows Live Movie Maker to synch up the static visuals, screencasts, and audio.

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The point being – if you know how to use professional video editing software, it’s a great tool that can speed up the production process and let you incorporate some fancier/more complex ideas into your video.

But it is not at all necessary or important to have (or know how to use) fancy software to make a video. In fact, if you’re intimidated by visual design, and think you don’t have the skills – Powerpoint can actually be an extremely effective, easy-to-use tool. Here are a couple of things I do to set up PowerPoint to create ready-for-video screens:

  • Change the page size. By default, Powerpoint slides are 4:3 length/width ratio. Go to Design -> Page Setup to change the page size to 16:9 to create a standard widescreen video.
  • You’ll need to Export all of the slides in JPG format to use them in a video editor. By default, exported JPGs are low resolution, resulting in a fuzzy video. You can change your settings to export high resolution images that will be clear and crisp in your video.
  •  You’ll save a lot of time if you customize the default fonts, colors and layouts in the Slide Master to match your video style.
  •  Don’t ever use the slide animations. However, if you keep things simple, you can build interesting faux-animation effects by duplicating slides and using the flip-book principle.

Whatever tools you choose to use, understand their capabilities and limitations. If you aren’t sure how to get a visual effect to look right in your chosen software – just don’t use that effect, and brainstorm a different technique that you know you can do well.

Gather all your files.

Once you’ve decided on your tools and approach, use the timeline you developed as a checklist of elements that need to be found or created. Search the Internet for Creative Commons licensed images (don’t forget to credit in your video or description), take photographs and/or shoot video, find music and/or record audio, record screencasts, and find, make, beg, borrow or steal whatever visual elements you need.

As much as possible, stick to the timing and specifications you outlined in your timeline. If you find that a live action video or screencast needs more seconds than you allotted, it’s okay – just remember that you’ll need to cut time from something else later.

As you’re gathering your files, make sure that objects that will be used for similar purposes look (or sound) consistent.

  • Screenshots: Did you clean up your browser, so you’re not showing bookmarks/other personal information? (Pro Tip: You can use Firebug, or Chrome’s “Inspect Element” to tweak a page’s html to change log in names, change article titles, remove ads, etc. to better highlight a concept – or to hide details you don’t want visible).
  • Images: If you’re doing a series of similar images or screenshots – are they all the same (or of a complementary) width/height? Do the borders all match? Do the corner settings match (round vs. square)? Are they all high resolution? Do you have any that stand out as unintentionally “oddball” for any reason (e.g., nine photographs taken in front of a white wall, one taken in front of a bookcase)?
  • Audio: If you recorded your own audio, do all of the segments have a similar volume? Do they have a similar amount/type of background noise?
  •  Video: If you recorded your own live action video: do any of your segments stand out as “oddball” when compared with the others (e.g., three well-lit shots, but one shot is much darker because you forgot to turn on the lights)? If you plan to stitch together several shots in a sequence, do you have visual continuity (e.g., does a person have a hat that disappears/reappears)

Once you’ve got all of your files, and you’ve checked to make sure all of your files look like they actually belong in the same video, it’s time to start putting it together, in sequence.

Step 4: Edit Mercilessly – Put it Together

Make Your First (Very Rough) Draft

Using the timeline you created in Step 2 as a guide, lay out all of the visuals that you just created/collected in their intended order, and compare it to your audio track(s).

If you’re using my PowerPoint technique, build all of your screens, in order, then run through them like a flipbook as you play your audio. If you’re diving straight in and using a video editor, place all of your visuals into the timeline, and drop in your audio however it fits.

Congratulations! You just created the first draft of your video!

Revise Mercilessly

  1. Check your overall timing. Are you running way too long, or way too short? Revisit your timeline and add or delete material until you are in the right ballpark.
  1. Refine your pacing, and optimize audio synching. As you are running through your video, pay attention to your pacing. Do you feel like you are rushing through certain screens too quickly? Do certain parts feel like they are dragging? Adjust your timing accordingly.

Check your visuals against your audio track to see if adjusting your order, or slight timing tweaks can better line up your visual concept with your audio concept. Are visual transitions occurring in time with the music? If the music builds and falls in intensity, would a different ordering of your visuals help support this sense of rising and falling?

Remember that if you add time to a screen in one place, you’ll need to make cuts elsewhere – either by removing an element, or combining two elements. If your live action video or screencast elements are too long – look for opportunities to speed up the footage (e.g., instead of typing out each letter in a screencast, show the first two letters being typed, then cut to a completed form).

  1. Consider your order and tweak your visuals. If you’ve had to cut out a bunch of material, make sure you video still makes logical sense in the current order. If you do reorder elements, make sure you adjust your visuals as needed (e.g., if you decide to reorder items in a Countdown Top Ten list, make sure that the numbers you display still count down in the right order).
  1. Improve your transitions. How does it feel moving from one screen to the next? If it something feels too abrupt, consider adding in some whitespace or a screen with a keyword between the scenes. If it feels too confusing, try a different order – or if you are attempting a fancy fade/wipe, try simplifying your technique.

Repeat

One you’ve finished revising your first draft, put it away for an hour. Then repeat the process with your second draft. Keep repeating as needed/until you are happy with how everything looks, sounds, and flows.

Create Your Final Draft

Once you’re happy with your visuals, your audio, your transitions, and your timing, create a final draft of your video.

If you’ve been working in PowerPoint so far, it’s time to export your slides as jpgs and synch them to your audio using your video editor. (In most programs, you will be able to “select all” and drop all the slides in at once).

If you’ve been working in video editing software this whole time, it’s time to render the video (i.e., “export” or “share on YouTube”).

If you need help with this step, Kent State University Library has a great collection of Video Production Tutorials, including iMovie, Windows Movie Maker, and links to free software and resources.

 Step 5: Edit Mercilessly

Polish once you’ve got a final draft that you’re happy with, you’re almost there. You’ll just want to review your video carefully (or, better yet, have someone else review the video) in order to catch any potentially embarrassing errors.

  1. Pause the video on every single text screen. Proofread for typos, and be especially vigilant with any proper names.
  1. Listen to the audio to make sure there aren’t any technical glitches like unexpected silence or skipping.
  1. Watch the visuals carefully, especially at transitions, to make sure there aren’t any unexpected blips or blackouts – pay attention to the first and last second, where errors often slip in when you edit.

And, get your video ready to post online.

  1. Create a descriptive and compelling title and brief description for the video.
  1. Decide whether (and if so, where) you want to add an “annotation” with a link to your site, if your video platform allows.
  1. If your video contains speech, consider making it accessible to a wider audience (as well as to search engines) by providing a transcript or closed captions.

Once you’ve tidied everything up and created your final video, you’re ready for the last important step

Step 6: Share

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Like I said at the beginning of Part 1, I decided to share my experience with producing a library tour video because there are a lot of folks out there looking for tips and suggestions on how to get started.

My way works for me, but it’s certainly not going to work for everybody – so I hope you’ll share your own experience and advice. And if you made (or make) a video, be sure post a link in the comments to help inspire someone else!


Suzanne Grubb is a digital librarian/instructional designer and all-purpose info-geek, currently building a Clinical Research Education Library for a DC-based association.

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Community and Fundamentals – DC/SLA Board of Directors Election!

Community and Fundamentals – DC/SLA Board of Directors Election!

by Chris Vestal

We’re excited to announce the DC/SLA Board of Directors Election! This is your chance to weigh in on who you want leading our Community!

This year the election will run from September 2 through 11:59pm EST on September 29. Only current DC/SLA members in good standing can vote and membership status will be verified.

To cast your vote: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/viewform?formkey=dDFTLWZRQVR3eDBnWnMtNzQ5T2Jzc3c6MA

To learn more about the candidates:

http://dc.sla.org/2014/08/10/nominations-committee-announces-2015-slate-of-candidates/

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President’s Message – Invest in Your Success

President’s Message – Invest in Your Success

By Chris Vestal, DC/SLA President

This month DC/SLA honored its volunteers at its Open House Volunteer Appreciation event. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – without you DC/SLA wouldn’t go anywhere. The board can come up with the best (we think) ideas ever, but without all the countless hours our volunteers donate to the chapter – nothing would happen.

I think we all intuitively understand that when you volunteer you’re:

1) Giving back to the profession

2) Helping your fellow volunteers

But there’s a third aspect to volunteering that I think is often overlooked. I learned about it myself through my volunteer work.

I was desperate for that elusive first library job when I graduated library school, during the beginnings of the Great Recession. I thought if I got involved with DC/SLA I might meet people and that could lead me to job. I let the DC/SLA president at the time know I was looking to get involved and they were eager to recruit a new volunteer. I started off as the Dine Around Coordinator for the chapter (which was a great fit since I love to eat!). Dine Arounds are informal networking dinners that we schedule at local restaurants throughout the area. I certainly did meet quite a few people this way and it was a great way to learn about local issues different librarians were facing. Around this time I also served as an Alignment Ambassador.

By now I’d found my first library job but I liked volunteering so I decided to stay involved. Since I’d done so much writing as the Dine Around Coordinator promoting the dinners the president at the time asked me to be the DC/SLA Newsletter Editor. I was skeptical at first, because if anyone’s read any of the emails I’ve sent you all know grammar is not my friend. Eventually I said yes, and I’m glad I did because it almost put me in the center of information for the chapter. I received a lot of informal mentoring early in my career from all the interviews I did for the newsletter. I also got to attend many programs for free since I was recapping them for the chapter. In fact it was an event I was recapping at LexisNexis’s office where I first meant Marie Kaddell – who really changed the direction of my career.

Next I was asked if I’d serve as the Communications Secretary and I said yes. Around this time I started getting recruited for projects in the broader SLA community. I did feel a little overwhelmed and one day I complained to one of my mentors.

“I’m flattered that people want me to help them with their projects. But on the other hand it’d be nice if I was being compensated for all this work,” I said.

“Chris, I know it seems like a lot and you don’t see the payoff now, but I promise you that you’re getting compensated in the long run,” she said.

At the time I remember rolling my eyes but it turned out she was right. I’d been in the same job for years and I knew I wanted to try something different. So I created a general resume and sent it to 50 of my contacts I’d met through volunteering letting them know I was looking for a change of pace and to just tell me if they thought they knew of a good match.

A few months later Marie Kaddell invited me to speak at her National Press Club event to talk about the work I was doing for DC/SLA drafting a Strategic Plan for our Social Media. Right before the event she told me she’d remembered my email about wanting a change and that her team was going to have an opening she thought I’d be perfect for. Better yet, the manager making the hiring decision was in the audience and she wanted me to have lunch with him afterwards.

When I turned in my application for the position I remembered thinking I’d get an interview but I just couldn’t imagine getting hired. I knew Lexis as a legal database and I didn’t even have a law librarian background. I figured there were plenty of attorneys that applied for the position and one of them would get it. To my surprise I actually got the job and it was just the change of pace I was looking for! A few months into the job I asked my manager why he hired me since I had so little legal knowledge. He told me I was a librarian and librarians can learn anything so he wasn’t worried about my lack of a legal background. Then he told me I was the only candidate that had all the core skills they were looking for: research experience, public speaking, training, strategic planning, writing, outreach – all skills that I developed through my volunteer experience with DC/SLA.

In fact my volunteering makes me a better employee ever day! Recently we did an event for one of my customers that was part FroYo Party. It was a big success that was great for the librarians and great for Lexis, and the only reason I had the confidence to put together a complicated event like it was because of all the event planning experience I had last year as the lead program planner for the chapter.

So what I’m getting at is yes of course you’re giving back to the profession and helping your colleagues when you volunteer. But you’re doing something even more important too – you’re helping yourself. Every time you volunteer you’re making a long term investment in your own success.

If you’d like to get involved you can view a list of our committees/groups at: http://dc.sla.org/about/committees-groups/

This list gives a description of each committee and the kind of work they do. When you’re ready to sign up for a committee or want to explore volunteering in a new way just send an email to volunteer@dc.sla.org

I’m thrilled we have so many volunteers that have already made that investment but I’d like to call out several that really have gone above and beyond this year.

Every year DC/SLA recognizes one of its members with the DC/SLA Member of the Year Award for outstanding service to the chapter. This year the winner is no exception – Kathy Kelly, DC/SLA Volunteer Coordinator! Kathy has worked tirelessly this year putting together a roster of chapter volunteers from scratch – so we’d actually know who our volunteers are. She’s updated our website committees’ pages so people would know how they could volunteer, and she’s removed other barriers that keep people from volunteering. She also helped put together our Open House Volunteer Appreciation event – so we could recognize our volunteers. I hope you’ll all join me in thanking and congratulating Kathy.

This year we also created a new award aimed at helping volunteers develop their leadership skills and broaden their network. The DC/SLA Leadership Summit Stipend Award pays for two members to attend the SLA leadership summit. We had more interest in the award than expected and making a decision was hard but please join me in congratulating our winners: Kelly Knight and Karen Nimerick!

In other news we have two great new posts in our What’s Your Theme? blog series.

Tracy Maleeff, perhaps better known as @LibrarySherpa on Twitter, explains her theme Lead, Follow, or Get Out of the Way. You can read her post at: http://dc.sla.org/2014/09/18/whats-your-theme-lead-follow-or-get-out-of-the-way/

Our DC/SLA Membership Director Alicia Pappas talks about her volunteer experience in her theme Finding by Seeking. You can read Alicia’s post at: http://dc.sla.org/2014/09/18/whats-your-theme-finding-by-seeking/

You can read all the posts in our What’s Your Theme blog series at: http://dc.sla.org/category/whats-your-theme/

Please contact me if you’re interested in writing about your own theme.

In short I’ve found that volunteering is one of the best investments you can make in yourself. And who better to invest in your success than yourself?

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