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Friday 19 October 2007

Videochat station set up

(Wow, Blogger's code for images is rather intimidating.)

Okay, this isn't a very exciting picture and the quality's pretty bad because I haven't tried any sort of clean-up. There aren't any students in it because of library policy that photos with people require permission and I was feeling a tad lazy. And it's dark because I couldn't use the flash because the image was being projected.

That said, it gives an idea of how we set up the station: smartboard with image projected onto it; laptop sitting below connected to speakers and webcam. We put our webcam to the right, just above the poster showing the timetable. (Other things displayed were a library week banner, fliers showing the timetable and library tips, and a whiteboard naming the library we were connected to at any given time.) Internet was wireless which only caused a problem once, briefly, late in the week.

This image shows us connected to Lincoln University Library, in their student lounge. (Different libraries set it up in different areas - some near the main entrance, others near the service desk, etc. In my branch we had a good spot that let us combine these two: directly in front of the main entrance so it got lots of traffic, and next to the lending desk so we could quickly respond to problems, and also overhear and respond to students wondering among themselves what it was about.)

Some libraries had it just on a normal computer monitor, rather than projected onto a screen. This wasn't so visible, but it had the advantage that people could sit down at it. When one of our students wanted to sit down and chat with his sister we brought a chair over for him but it was trickier to adjust the camera angle.

I'll try and clean up some of my photos over the long weekend and hopefully post something slightly nicer when I'm back on Tuesday.