Last night at the Computers in Libraries conference, the first annual InfoTubey Awards were presented, honoring outstanding library promotional videos posted on YouTube. YouTube has given libraries a new, low-cost, high-impact method of outreach, and it’s great to see Information Today, the publishers of Computers in Libraries and sponsorts of the conference, honor libraries who are using this new medium.
It was interesting watching the winning videos in a crowd of librarians, and hearing the acceptance speeches. The videos don’t look like typical professional productions made for TV. They are were all made using basic videocameras, and edited by inhouse using free or inexpensive software, and they fit the YouTube environment perfectly : quick to make and easy to share. Creativity, authenticity and sincerity count more than slick production values. Most of the winners talked about how much local attention and appreciation their YouTube videos were getting, and how much fun all of this was for both staff and patrons.
My favorite was produced by the New Jersey State Library, and it asks people what are there three reasons for loving their library. They have invited viewers to add their own reasons as comments to the YouTube page, and also to post video responses. The original video and the follow-up ones are pretty inspiring.