Our loyal followers will know that we contribute content to the Duke University Libraries Instagram page. Instagram allows us to post visual content quickly and is fun to use. It also reaches a different audience than our other social media sites.
Recently I’ve started using Instagram’s new video function to experiment with creating training videos. The app allows videos up to 15 seconds in length. It is a challenge to get your information across clearly and succinctly in such a short period, but not impossible. Mission accepted!
As a first attempt I think it works. The audio is a little faint, but then again we were in the middle of the stacks so I didn’t want to talk very loudly. I have some other topics to try. If it works, we may be able to move some of our care and handling training to an online version, which would catch more student assistants and new employees, especially those that work the late and weekend shifts.
If you are on Instagram, you can follow “dukelibraries” to see our posts. If you don’t use the app, you can find our posts on the Instagram website. There are a lot of libraries on Instagram, I encourage you to find and follow them. Are you using Instagram for your department? Let us know in the comments.
I am always on the hunt for useful tools. The other day I had a large number of books and I needed to record the bar codes and transfer them into an excel file. I don’t have a laptop at work, but I do have an iPad. I searched the app store and found “Bar-Code.” It looked like it would do what I needed so I downloaded it. Within a couple of minutes my project was underway.
First, I scanned each bar code with the iPad camera:
Each bar code is scanned as an image and is transcribed on the right-hand column.
When you are done, you have the choice of what to do with the data. I chose to email the list to myself so I could put it easily into an Excel file.
Using this app beat writing down all the bar code numbers and retyping them into a spreadsheet when I got back to my office. It saved a lot of time. The free version, which I used, does not save the data once you email it. I believe the paid version of this particular app will allow you to save your data.
I think this app, or a similar one, could be very useful during a disaster situation when you needed to track items going offsite for freezing. You could scan each item going into a crate, then send each crate’s inventory to yourself as an email. I think I would make each crate a separate email in case the network or app crashed unexpectedly. I would hate to record hundreds of bar codes then have the network crash or an email not go through for some reason.
What apps have you found useful in your preservation or conservation duties and how have you used them? Please share ideas in the comments section.
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These little things called blogs are really catching on in preservation-land. Preservation Underground was one of the first library preservation department blogs out there. Now we are finding ourselves in some very good company. To celebrate the spread of library preservation through this thing we call the internet, I want to point you to some other blogs you may find interesting.