23 Research Things – Thing 11

Just a short post from me today, focusing on communicating for free. By this, 23 Research Things means communicating using tools such as Youtube, Google Hangouts, and podcasts. And here I have a confession to make: I have been skipping watching every single video for this programme, and instead reading the transcripts provided. Part of this is due to time – I can read much more quickly than it takes to watch a video – but mainly it’s because I absorb information much better by reading. You might be able to guess that I’m not someone who tends to seek out videos or podcasts for educational purposes!

However, I am a fan of The New Yorker magazine’s short videos, which cover a range of topics as broad and whimsical as the print content found inside the magazine’s pages. These videos are generally only a couple of minutes long, and are great at conveying complex ideas in a concise way, or making dry, esoteric topics come alive. Because I was a newspaper subeditor (and in other words paid to be pedantic about grammar) in another life, I particularly enjoy their series on thorny issues of grammar, semantics, and English-language usage. The video ‘Affect vs. Effect’ is a good example. (Technically this video is not hosted on Youtube, but it should still be freely available to all who want to watch it.)

As for podcasts, I’m not a regular listener to any, but as a science fiction and fantasy fan I do recommend the series Midnight in Karachi, hosted on Tor.com. The interviewer, Mahvesh Murad, always has a wonderful rapport with her interviewees, and draws out lots of details that enrich my understanding of the various books being discussed.

In my library there is some talk of expanding current training/support provision (at present limited to in-person teaching, and PDF guides to various resources) to include short videos, and if this were to happen, I’m sure that Youtube would be the platform we would use. For now, however, this is somewhat in the future.


About thelibrarianerrant

I'm a senior library assistant in one of the faculty libraries of the University of Cambridge. My posts here are in a personal capacity, and are on any topics relating to library and information services.
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2 Responses to 23 Research Things – Thing 11

  1. Glad to hear the transcripts are useful. We included them both for accessibility purposes but also because some people just like to download them and read! Good recommendations of stuff to check out!


    • Yes, I was really glad that you included them – they’ve been really helpful to me, and it’s great that you’re considering issues of accessibility, rather than just assuming that everyone will learn one way and in one medium.


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