What is the Institutional Repository at UF? New video answers that question in an entertaining way

Published: November 19 2014


Explaining what an institutional repository is and how it benefits faculty and students has long been a difficult task, not only at the University of Florida, but also at universities across the country.

So, the George A. Smathers Libraries have created a new approach: a short animated video that describes the role of the Institutional Repository at UF (IR@UF) in an amusing, yet informative way. Among the subjects addressed are: the types of content that can be uploaded to the massive digital archive, step-by-step directions and the specific benefits of placing materials in the IR@UF. An accompanying poster, which can be viewed at http://ufdc.ufl.edu/l/AA00027045/00001, was also produced.

The $5,000 project was funded by an internal library mini-grant awarded to Scholarly Communications Librarian Christine Fruin and a project team of library faculty and staff. After bids were received from four local designers, Sequential Arts Workshop (SAW) was chosen to conceive, write and illustrate the video and poster in collaboration with the project team. Justine Mara Andersen of SAW was the primary illustrator, designer and animator, with assistance from SAW Executive Director Tom Hart. UF theater students Nazeeh Tarsha and Angelique Rivera lent their vocal talents to the video.

Fruin explained, “A common reaction from non-library folk upon hearing the term ‘institutional repository’ is a glazed-eye confusion about what it even is and how it can be used. The term is so clinical and dry, as is often the attempt to describe it. I have often marveled at some of the creative messages, infographics and the like, that have been employed by libraries and other organizations in communicating technical, factual and even legal information. So I thought, ‘Hey, why can’t we do that to get people interested in the IR?’ SAW took our list of concepts and points of information and created an entertaining marketing device that I think will get the UF community interested in this wonderful resource we offer them.”

Andersen said, “I had no idea when we at SAW started work for the IR@UF that the end result would become one of the projects I am most proud of. It's obvious to anyone who looks at the animation that it was a labor of love. A spirit of humor, beauty and full color fun runs through all six minutes and 40 seconds of the piece. So sit back and enjoy, and if it's half as much fun to watch as it was to create, then we have all done our jobs. Oh…and if you manage to learn how valuable the IR@UF is while watching it…that's groovy, too.”

The video can be viewed at http://ufdc.ufl.edu/AA00026849/00001.

For more information, please contact Barbara Hood,
Director of Communications, George A. Smathers Libraries,
at 352-273-2505 or bhood@ufl.edu