Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Video Eight

Eight years ago today (January 9, 2010), Mooresville Public Library launched its YouTube channel.  Since then, the library has uploaded 799 videos and has 800 subscribers (at last!--more subscribers than videos!)  More tellingly, the library's videos have been viewed 1,206,333 times.  That's an amazing statistic for a small township public library that serves a community under 15,000.

Videos were part of the library's social media initiative, which began in January, 2010.  Suzanne Walker, MLS, who was then MPL youth services director, spearheaded the project.  A couple of days before MPL YouTube was launched, Suzanne asked me to create a book trailer that she could show to a library school class at which she was guest-lecturing.  I'd never heard of a book trailer, but some quick research and experimentation with now-defunct Windows Movie Maker software produced the following video.

MPL Book Trailer #1
True Ghost Stories, by the
Marchioness Townshend of Raynham
and Maude ffoulkes

I hope there's been some improvement in our book trailers since then.  Here's one we particularly like, using (also now defunct) Windows Movie Maker Live.  (We're now using Wondershare Filmora video editing software.)

MPL Book Trailer #322
A Man Called Ove, by Fredrik Backman

What really makes these videos stand out is the soundtrack music.  The library has its own composer, who writes original compositions for its videos.  (He's willing to grant other libraries a free license to use his music in their videos, too, as explained here.)

The library's YouTube channel became the platform to which staff could upload videos for public viewing.  Over the years, MPL created book trailers, program trailers, promo trailers, local history videos, music parodies, readalouds, singalongs, readers' advisory blogs, puppet shows, how-to instructional videos, and probably some other types I've forgotten.  I'll include some links below to illustrate; check out these playlists for more examples.

Making library videos is relatively easy and inexpensive--otherwise, we certainly wouldn't be doing them.  Who has a budget for such things?  Last year we started a media blog to share some of our ideas to help colleagues make their own library videos, as well as sharing some of our experiences using social media or technology.  One approach we particularly liked is the use of "spokescritters" to promote libraries through video, blogs, and other social media.  Our "spokescritter" is Cauli Le Chat, MPL feline roving reporter (now retired).  Cauli's blog has been viewed 437,356 times.

MPL YouTube reached a million viewings last March and is now nearly a quarter million views closer to two million.  The wide variety and quantity of viewing material explains some of the appeal, but ultimately it's simply a matter of resonance.  Some videos connect with large numbers of viewers, who share their finds, thereby delivering more viewership statistics.  The result is a global footprint.  Through its videos, MPL has truly reached a worldwide audience.

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