Using the multimedia library
Guidelines and instructions on finding and using images, audio, and video in the LEARN NC multimedia library.
Finding multimedia with tags
When you search the multimedia library, you’re searching a set of tags we’ve assigned to the various images, audio, and video files. Unlike pages of text, obviously you can’t search the content of an image itself — so if we want people to be able to find a photograph of a house by the ocean, we assign it the tags “house,” “ocean,” and maybe “beach” as well. So tags are simply keywords or finding aids for multimedia files.
What we tag
Typically, we tag an image with words or phrases describing the primary content of the image. We also tag the location (such as “Cape Hatteras” and “North Carolina”) and the names of any people appearing in a photograph, if appropriate. If it’s a map, we tag the names of the major regions or countries shown. We may also tag the primary topic or subject of an image, particularly if the image is an illustration, chart, or graph.
The “tag cloud” on the front page of the multimedia library is a weighted list of tags. Larger font size on a given tag indicate that more images are tagged with that word or phrase. (As you might expect, we have a lot of images tagged with “North Carolina.”) You can use this list alphabetically, or look at the most common tags first.
Finding related images
When you look at the catalog record for an image or other multimedia file, you’ll see in the sidebar a heading “Related Images.” These are images that share the most tags with the image you’re viewing. In many cases, the similarity will be obvious at a glance; in other cases, you’ll have to read the image description to see the similarity.
On the catalog record for an image, you’ll find a range of information designed to help you make use of the image in teaching and learning.
Time and place
Under the heading “About the image” in the sidebar you’ll see basic information about the image, including the date on which it was created and its location, if appropriate.
Credit and licensing
The first heading in the sidebar, “Credit,” tells you who created the image and how you may use it. Most of our images are licensed under a Creative Commons license, which permits anyone to use the image for any noncommercial purpose so long as they attribute it to its creator. If you alter the image or make derivative works, you must agree to license them in the same manner. In short, if an image bears this logo:
you are free to use it for any normal classroom use!
If you don’t see that logo, the licensing information will tell you how you can use it. If the image is in the public domain, you can use it however you wish; if it says “All Rights Reserved” you should treat it just as you would any other image you find on the web. (See our article about fair use for more information.
Many of our images have detailed descriptions that provide not only a literal description of the content of the image (for accessibility purposes) but also historical, cultural, or scientific context. The description appears as text directly beneath the image.
See this image in context
If the image has been used in a slideshow or other larger web resource, you’ll see a heading in the sidebar “See this image in context.” The links will take you directly to the page of the resource on which the image was used, so that you can learn more about it and its content or subject.
You can “learn more” about the subjects of an image by using the links under that heading in the sidebar. This section lists the tags we’ve assigned to the image — first, as links to a search of the multimedia library, and then as links to searches of the entire LEARN NC website.
If the image is available in various sizes or formats, you’ll see them linked under the image. (Numbers, in relation to images, refer to pixels.)