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Workshop Highlights New Media Content
by Kathy Clarke

It sounds like the start of a bad joke, but it’s a true story.  A library dean and a biology professor go to Australia for a conference.   There, the biology professor was astounded (her word) to learn from the dean about the wealth of resources her own library at JMU has to offer.  An idea is born.  If the biology professor didn’t know about these resources, it was a good bet many of her faculty colleagues didn’t know either.  Her idea:  let’s put on a Center for Faculty Innovation (CFI) workshop to highlight these new media resources.


Last November, over a hundred JMU faculty members came to learn about electronic library resources beyond the traditional  books and journal articles.   At two CFI sessions held on November 29 and 30, faculty from all over campus came to the library to hear about streaming video, music and audio content, and images that are available via the library website. 

Library materials and database content used to be simple text files, articles, books, and data that could be either labeled “general” (like Academic Onefile)  or subject specific (like ERIC for education).  Now, many library databases provide “non-traditional,” non-text based content--music, movies, and pictures that aren’t geared to to one particular discipline. 

Kathy Clarke presenting at workshop
Kathy Clarke demonstrates databases with new media to a packed house.

In the workshop, librarians Claire Clemens and Kathy Clarke demonstrated how to access many of these digitial resources using LEO, the library catalog, the Madison Digital Image Database (MDID), and the Libraries’ Databases & Resources page.

Claire Clemens showed the standing room only crowd how to to use LEO to find streaming video content on a subject, or how to access the streaming collections via the Madison Digital Image Database (MDID).  Claire also covered databases that have video content embedded within the database. 

Databases with audio, video, or image content can be located through the Research Resources by Type of Information list of resources on the Databases & Resources page.Encyclopedia Britannica logo  Sources that sound like traditional text resources, such as Encyclopedia Britannica or Factiva, turn out to be exciting repositories of streaming content. Another resource she highlighted, Discovery Education Streaming, is a searchable repository of digital videos geared toward K-12 education. Discovery Learning Logo

Kathy Clarke covered the breadth of the audio collections (spoken word, sound and music).  Databases included Smithsonian Global Sound and Naxos Music Library.  Kathy shared her favorite find, locating music by mood or scenario in Naxos Music (need music that expresses doom? Naxos advanced search can do that!). She also introduced the groups to the AccuNet/AP Multimedia Archive, a searchable database of over 700,000 photos from the Associated Press. All of these resources can dramatically improve student work--instead of a purely text presentation on peyote use in Native American culture, a student can share the sounds of a Sioux Shaman singing a Peyote Cult Song (Smithsonian World Sound) while displaying pictures of peyote rituals from AccuNet/AP Multimedia Archives. 

Atomic Learning LogoClaire wrapped up the session with a demo of Atomic Learning.  This exciting new database, recommended to the library from the College of Education, is a searchable collection of web tutorials, how-tos on a variety of computer applications (PC and MAC).  These very short tutorials are proving very popular among busy students and faculty who need to use or are learning these resources but might not have the time for a full-blown class. 

Many thanks to CFI, specifically Susan Kruck and Carol Hurney (aka the aforementioned biology professor) for their collaboration on the workshops.  For more information about locating audio and video resources check LEO, MDID, and the Research Database pages, or contact your liaison librarian.   

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