Setting Up An Online Literary Audio Walk

As a tie-in with the Guildford Book Festival last year my library service created a literary walk of Guildford using an online service, Woices. This service is free to use and with it you can add markers to a map containing audio, tags, images and text containing web links. You can link a series of markers together into a contained walk and you can make it available for people to access via the full Woices website, the mobile website and an app. Users can also download the audio files to any device capable of playing mp3 files.

One of the reasons for creating this tour was to try to creatively promote library resources beyond the limits of our library catalogue, but pulling users back to our library services. So, for example, on location markers focusing on Lewis Carroll we linked back to Alice in Wonderland / Through The Looking Glass and Lewis Carroll biographies on our library catalogue.

It was straightforward to set-up:

  • Create an account on Woices.
  • Take photos of relevant locations.
  • Record some audio about why each location is significant (most of our audio markers were less than 1 minute long).
  • Use that audio as a transcript for the text description.
  • Create markers (known as Echoes) on the in-service map and add the photo, audio file and text to them.
  • Add a link back to the library catalogue search results. eg. P.G. Wodehouse link.
  • Add keyword tags for each marker. eg Alice Wonderland Lewis Carroll
  • Create a Walk and add your Echoes to it. Rearrange them into a logical order to follow.

The walk can be found on the Woices main website; the mobile site; and the app (you’ll need to search for “Guildford literary walk” on the app to find it).