Westerville Public Library Videocasts (well, sort of videocasts…)

Westerville Public Library is shooting video! I just saw this (via Library Stuff): Westerville Public Library is doing a few pretty hip things:

  1. They have created something called castr, that they claim is their “podcast delivery system” (more on that in a sec). So far, they have three videos (a zoo visit, story time, and spanish class).
  2. They have made their castr page look like a web 2.0 site, complete with large text, a simple design, a gradiated image for the page background, and a large image (and they have also left out the “e” in castr, and given it a flickr-like color combination).
  3. They are using Ajax (cool geek web coding language)
  4. They feature one of the videos in the large ad on their main page, with a big “watch this movie” link (in fact, their whole site looks nice… I might have to do another Cup ‘o Java review of it)

This is the second attempt at library videocasting I’ve seen – the first one being Manchester Public Library’s Teen Matrix site. See? I’ve been saying video will be coming… and it is… and it’s pretty cool!

OK – so why am I saying “attempt at videocasting?” Because, technically speaking, Westerville hasn’t really created a podcast/videocast. They have created a blog that links to videos. Sounds picky, but it’s not – a true videocast/podcast has the video/audio file embedded with the blog post, so a podcast aggregator can automatically download the media file. That’s what makes a pod/videocast so cool. So I’d humbly ask Westerville Public to go that one extra step – then they’d be extremely cool (and have their wording right, too).

Update: Aaron, the guy who created Castr, emailed me and commented on this post. Castr is now a true videocast. Cool beans!
All that aside, I find it exciting to see online video slowly becoming part of a library’s digital outreach tools. We’ll definitely be seeing more of this type of service!