5. YouTube

YouTube, as you may know, is a video sharing site that makes the sharing and social aspects of video really easy. Youtube gives it’s users the ability to upload video that can be commented upon, shared easily (via an embed code included with each video) and saved (via favorites) to be viewed again. All of this makes video a much more easily used medium for libraries to explore!
The Missouri River Regional Library has a YouTube account, but we haven’t been using it much – mostly due to a lack of recording equipment. Now that most digital cameras can take decent movies (and anything better than “decent” gets lost in YouTube’s compression anyway, it seems) we may start using it for more projects in the future. I did upload a short “safety” video, produced by the very talented, and just a wee bit odd, members of our children’s department a while back. More recently, Bobbi has used it to store the short videos made by our Automation Librarian to explain the use of our self-check machine (the hand model in those videos is our Circulation supervisor).
Other libraries, however, have made excellent use of YouTube. Denver Public Library used it to promote their summer reading program last year. The Metropolitan Library System (Oklahoma City) posted the first prize winner of their recent film content using YouTube as well. Other libraries have done other contests as well, using the teenager’s love of content creation to engage them in library activities via YouTube.
Other libraries post interesting little videos promoting everything from children’s activities to reference services – or just to have fun!
With the reduction in price for digital video cameras along with a serious increase in quality for even fairly cheap cameras, creating library videos is pretty cheap! David Lee King, a Library Journal “mover and shaker” is doing some really cool things with video in libraries – if you are looking for ideas to promote your services, engage your patrons and show the fun side of your library, his blog is an excellent place to start!

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