Archive for the 'podcasting' Category

4Cast #92: Online Book Discussions…Interactive Websites…Vista Drops in Price…Another Google Hook-up?

Wednesday, March 5th, 2008

1. Live, Online Book Discussions?
Oprah’s new Live Book Club launched on Monday, March 3rd. Approximately 500,000 simultaneous logons crashed the system, but Harpo Productions, Inc. says that they are going to keep trying. The club is available as a podcast on or iTunes.

2. Get interactive
Making websites interactive will boost traffic and can quite easily feature library activities and services. Putting your librarians – and even your patrons – in the spotlight will make users keep coming back to see what’s new.

3. Oh, Vista
Microsoft significantly dropped the price of Vista when it released it to 70 different countries last week. Price cuts vary by country, but if purchased in the US, only the higher-end versions get the new price.

4. / Google Hook-up?
First Jeeves left Teoma…now Ask?

OPLIN 4cast #32

Tuesday, November 28th, 2006

This week’s 4cast:

1.OPLIN Award for Innovation: Castr (Westerville Public Library)

Although podcasting and videocasting are becoming more popular, many libraries are still struggling to find ways to integrate them into their online services. One Ohio library that’s finding a way to do it is the Westerville Public Library, which unveiled Castr earlier this year. Although it’s billed as a “podcast delivery system,” Castr has mainly been used for videocasts of library storytimes, performances, special guests, and other programming. There are 10 shows so far.

We’re proud to present Westerville Public Library with an OPLIN Award for Innovation for their Castr service.

OPLIN Award for Innovation

Castr was built using Ruby on Rails, an open-source web framework, and the shows appear as QuickTime videos. According to Kristen Hewitt, Manager of Support Services, copyright issues are still “a bit dicey.” Westerville asks permission to feature copyrighted material, and permission has been granted most of the time.

OPLIN isn’t the first to recognize Castr as an innovative service. Several prominent library blogs (listed below) have mentioned it as one of the better examples of library videocasting in the country. You can subscribe to the Castr RSS feed at

Hewitt notes that the Westerville Public Library is always open to comments and feedback to make Castr better. They’re certainly off to a great start – congratulations Westerville!

2. OPLIN Goes Mobile

We’ve reported in the past about the growing number of people accessing the Internet via mobile device, and when viewed on a tiny cellphone screen, the OPLIN website presents the same issues as many other sites – that is, it looks ugly and behaves even worse. But now, anyone who visits the OPLIN website on a mobile device will be automatically redirected to OPLIN Mobile, an extremely trimmed-down version of our website where users can find an Ohio library or search our Discover Ohio link directory.

3. Of Worms & Zen

Two new library-related search tools – LISZEN and LibWorm – recently launched. Both search through hundreds of library-related blogs and RSS feeds, so you can quickly find out what the rest of Libraryland thinks about certain issues and topics.

4. Pew! I Smell Reports…

The Pew Internet & American Life Project aims to “explore the impact of the Internet on families, communities, work and home, daily life, education, health care, and civic and political life.” They do this through 15-20 yearly reports that focus on a wide range of Internet-related topics and activities. While some of their most recent reports don’t focus on libraries specifically, they do provide a great snapshot of current trends and issues related to Internet usage, and can provide valuable info as libraries look to increase their online services and presence.

OPLIN 4cast #15

Tuesday, July 25th, 2006

This week’s 4cast:

1. Podcasting (Part Three): Warm Up Those Vocal Cords

On the heels of our very first podcast, we humbly leave you with a few more guides to help your library in the creation of its own podcasts.

Keep your ears peeled for more OPLIN 4cast Podcasts in the coming weeks.

2. Everybody’s Doin’ It

The best way to figure out how you can use podcasting, blogging, or even videoblogging to promote your library is to check out what other libraries are doing.

3. Nuts About Netflix

You could say that Michael Porter (aka Libraryman) is a fan of Netflix. In his recent “Netflix Takes Libraries to School” series of blog posts, Porter explores the Netflix service model and the reasons why libraries should, but for various reasons do not, copy its finer points.

4. Is the World Wide Web Consortium Out of Touch?

In order to be accessible to the broadest possible audience, website developers strive to adhere to guidelines established by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). But trouble is brewing, as a growing number of prominent web developers are revolting against the W3C and recent developments within that organization.

OPLIN 4cast #14

Tuesday, July 18th, 2006

This week’s 4cast:

1. Podcasting (Part Two): The Pods are Multiplying

Last week’s 4cast covered some of the basics of podcasting. But what do they actually sound like? Even though the medium is still in its infancy, podcast directories and search engines are already helping users find new faves.

Next week’s 4cast will point to examples of podcasts emanating from the library world, and round up some how-to guides for creating a great-sounding podcast of your own from scratch.

2. Answers Not @ Your Library

KnowItNow has competition when it comes to online reference services. Qunu is a new service that allows anyone to search for an expert on primarily tech-related topics, and then connects the two parties for a live support session through Instant Messaging. Meanwhile, other community-driven Q-and-A services, such as Yahoo! Answers and Google Answers, are increasing in popularity.

3. Nothing on the YouTube?

What’s regularly playing on the public computers at your library? Probably YouTube. Despite its enormous popularity, some observers wonder if the service is doomed to collapse under the weight of two issues: copyright infringement and bandwidth costs.

4. Taking Library School to School

Tech-saavy librarians are beginning to question whether library schools are teaching the types of skills that are increasingly necessary to do Library 2.0 jobs.

OPLIN 4cast #13

Tuesday, July 11th, 2006

This week’s 4cast:

1. Podcasting (Part One): The Basics

Podcasts are audio programs created by individuals or organizations for distribution over the Internet. Not unlike blogs, listeners can subscribe to different podcasts via RSS feed, or download them to enjoy at their leisure. As their popularity increases, more and more libraries are creating their own podcasts to highlight library news, events, services, and more.

Next week’s 4cast will delve a little deeper into podcasting, including legal issues with podcasting and how anyone can find great podcasts beyond the library world.

2. LibraryThing: Where Bibliophiles File Their Biblios

LibraryThing is a site that allows users to catalog their books in a collective online database. From there, they can find out what other people have on their shelves, and connect with like-minded readers. There are also some slick tools for finding out what’s popular and what’s not.

3. Tag. That’s It?

LibraryThing, like many of the other emerging social networking sites, uses tagging as the main method for organizing its content. Has traditional bibliographic methodology (lookin’ at you, subject headings) reached an evolutionary dead end?

4. No Techies? Lots of Problems

Everything’s great when you have a reliable person to handle all of your dirty technology-related chores. But what happens when a library just doesn’t have any techies at their disposal? Luckily, there are a handful of websites that can help “technically depressed” libraries with free advice and useful information.