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Fun with YouTube

YouTube can be a lot of fun, as Warren Buffett can attest.  His taste runs to Sinatra videos, but there’s something for everyone there.  And because YouTube is so widely used, it’s easy to link things together; Buffett says he often starts with Sinatra or something sent to him, and the next thing he knows, hours have gone by.

We should use this  linkability to our advantage.  YouTube allows patrons (and other viewers) to subscribe, comment, and easily link to us or share our work with others on other social networking sites (such as Facebook).  On our end, in addition to posting our own videos, we can link to “Favorite” videos–for example, general purpose instructional videos created by other libraries.  A YouTube channel is so easy to set up, during the time I’ve been polishing this post, John’s already created one!  Now we just need to put something there.

Many other libraries have already done this.  The New York Public Library’s channel has many videos of library programs, videos highlighting parts of their collection, and one that thanks their supporters after budget cuts were restored.  The tiny Matthews Library in Fredericksburg, Pennsylvania likes to review materials, and has a great video showcasing the wide variety of illustrated versions of Alice in Wonderland, set to the song “White Rabbit.”

But my favorite library YouTube channel is the one from the Birmingham, Alabama public library.  Their channel has 195 videos, including library tours, database tutorials, and instructional videos on technical topics.  It’s a great resource for ideas.  Many of their video instructions are not library-specific, and could be linked on our YouTube channel for use by our patrons.

What I’d eventually like to do is create similar videos showcasing OUR library: behind-the-scenes tours (video versions akin to Sharon’s Book’s Journey Flickr set), Database of the Month promotions, and instructional help.

I already had my own YouTube channel, used for distributing videos (mostly of my children) to family and friends, so I made a first pass at a library video tour, filming from behind the book drop.  I made two versions, one plain (above), and one set to music in Animoto.  Some day I’d like to do a more “professional” version, using better equipment!

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