LibeCasts from the upstate empire

Gute abends!

Can I talk for just a minute about how much I love CamelCase type (as per the title of this entry, or, dare I say it, case in point)? Being somebody who works with neither NaCl, nor EnvVars, nor even iPods, I am not exactly predisposed to loving it. Frankly, I didn’t have any idea that it was called CamelCase until I looked it up just now. I’ll be the first to admit that it’s overused, and I’m sure graphic designers would be sick to death of it were it not such an elegant panacea. I still think it’s the bees’ knees.

Oh oh oh and incidentally! Every time I hear the word “panacea,” as well as “innate” or “carapace,” I’m reminded of the fact that I learned all three from the same videogame, and happened to run into them simultaneously in one vocab quiz in tenth grade. A life well wasted, indeed.

With all of that out of the way, let’s get started, mm?

Having pretty well tackled three rather different examples of public library podcasts in my earlier posts, I’m going to move on to academic libraries for now. For starters, let’s look at everyone’s favorite fake Ivy: Cornell University!

(I can be falsely derisive like that because I grew up in New England, but I digress.)

Cornell has coined the term “LibeCast” for their “audio and video recordings about Cornell University Library and its exhibitions, events, lectures and services, offering the world a glimpse of life inside one of the nation’s best research libraries.” For the second time in two days, I’m extraordinarily impressed by the sheer variety of general-interest knowledge on offer here — thanks, I imagine, to Cornell’s impressive stable of lecturers. Speaking as somebody who’s previously been bored enough to comb over years’ worth of “best podcast” awards, it’s a mystery to me why academic libraries aren’t typically included if they’re of even a fraction of this quality on average.

LibeCasts aren’t dated on the front page (though dates are provided after their respective jump links), only listed in what might as well be chronological order. While not an extraordinarily interesting design decision, it is unique, and as long as this metadata is available elsewhere, it has a certain elegance about it.

A fair half of the LibeCast links contain video as well as audio, but only some of these have a separate audio-only link. Similarly inconsistent is a handful of recordings’ linking to the Mann Life Sciences library podcasts; some are cross-listed, but fewer are cross-hosted. In spite of these small niggles, however, Cornell is making a terrific case for advertising by way of digitizing content. And worry not — there is not one, but a series of “about the library” episodes.


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