During the COVID-19 stay home orders, Whatcom County Library System kept staff whose library work couldn't be done from home busy by having them work from home to close caption the many videos on the WCLS YouTube channel. Getting this closed captioning done to make the videos accessible to more patrons had been on the system's to-do list for a long time, but they hadn't had the staffing to take up the project. It was a great way to keep staff busy from home during the closure, and they are proud of the fact that (almost) all of the videos they are creating about library services are now accessible to those who are hard of hearing. (They are still working through some of the backlog.)
If you still have library staff who can't return to their normal schedules 100%, this might be a good project for them to take up.
There is a free version of the software, so staff just need a computer with a speaker, keyboard, and internet connection. In the interest of helping other libraries do this work, Sarah Miller, the staff member who lead this project, put together a training video on using Amara software to closed caption, as well as a captioning guide document. Both are linked below.
WCLS hopes that some of you will find this helpful in improving services to your hard of hearing patrons.
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