Darien Library 2 – Study tour 2007

After a delicious lunch out chatting with Darien‘s team of librarian bloggers, I sat down with Barbara, Janet, Caitlin and Kim to talk about their podcasting efforts. They use an already bought Edirol MP3 Recorder (from Roland). They record, then do minimal processing of the file before uploading it to their website.

When recording a speaker, they put the recorder on a front row seat, next to someone monitoring it. For a concert, they place it next to a speaker and for an interview, on the table between the questioner and guest.

They use Wavepad (ironically its Australian) software, to compress the wmv file to MP3, Caitlin says it is much better than Audacity and its still free. They keep file sizes down to under 25 meg to keep it easier for up and downloading. If the session is longer than 20 minutes, they split it into separate files to keep it under the limit. Caitlin also uploads their podcasts to iTunes as well as having them available through their events blog. They have done podcasts on how to podcast, responses to the question of who will die in Harry Potter, teen book reviews, concert, speakers and more.

Caitlin also does audio reviews of audio books for Audiofile magazine, which helps her stay current on podcasting techniques and equipment. Darien also has a MySpace page and although they haven’t done much with it, they have over 100 friends – mostly publishers and librarians however.

I finished the day with Alan Kirk Gray – an amazing and delightful gentleman. We talked about the new Darien Library and all the changes that will come with the new building. Some of these changes include roving reference, RFID with no set circulation desk, a learning commons in the basement, teen center next to the computer, SOHO – small office, home office space, virtual reference office and much more. Its all very exciting and a lot of risk taking, so it will be amazing and exciting to watch how it all develops. They are aiming to be collaborative, with patron to staff and patron to patron.

Darien is very customer focused – what I experienced as a visitor is also the type of experience that every user enjoys. Alan and the entire Darien staff were a pleasure to deal with and I felt like a treasured guest as that was how I was treated. I can’t thank Louise, Alan and the Darien staff enough for sharing their experiences and the journeys involved with me.