New online library tutorials @ Berkeley.

My colleague Jesse Silva and I are very happy to unveil a project we’ve been working on for several months:  a spanking-new set of Congressional Research Tutorials!

The tutorials are Captivate screencasts, housed in a wiki structure that offers some neat functionality.  Users can hide or show the sidebars to expand the “canvas” of the middle column, where the tutorials play.  For most tutorials, users can scroll down the page to practice what they’re learning in a live database window just below.  (Licensed databases, such as Lexis-Nexis Congressional, require proxy setup to display.)

We think this is a great leap forward in screencast tutorials for library research, because the instruction is paired with immediate, focused, extremely relevant practice in the live database.  The user can pause the tutorial at any point, scroll down, and do his/her own search in the database below.

Take a look and see what you think–we’ve thrown in a few added features such as RSS feeds of Congressional news and a Google CSE for Congressional information.  We’ll be working on more tutorials in the near future, and would be very happy to hear your feedback and suggestions.

You can comment here, or feel free to email me at kmunro at library dot berkeley dot edu.

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