Week 3.1: YouTube Genre Display Case

As a follow-up to the previous post, this one’s a list of different genres on YouTube, a bit of a description, and links to example channels that generally fall into that category to give you an idea of how they play out. Note that many channels might fall into multiple genres, and also that this list is by no means exhaustive.


People talking about books, typically in a very vloggy format. Reviews, book love exuberance, “what I’ve been reading,” etc…

YouTube EDU

Videos created with the express purpose of educating viewers on or inspiring curiosity about a subject; usually the same subject across a channel.


Videos showing creators playing through a game while also providing narration or showing their reactions to the game.
  • Library Relevance: Sometimes folks will watch other people play the games that they can’t, or for entertainment value. Yep, including minecraft.
  • ExamplesjacksepticeyemarkiplierDaisyyMichelle


Videos created to guide the viewer through the completion of some kind of task or process.
  • Library Relevance: step-by-step instructions on how to do something very specific (home improvement, programming, cooking, math).
  • Examples: Bon Appétit, NanciPi, ExcelIsFun

Think Pieces

Similar to EDU, but more of a one-shot rather than following a theme or subject area across an entire channel.
  • Library Relevance: Satisfying curiosity, answering questions you didn’t realize you had. Often cover contemporary ideas.
  • ExamplesveritasiumVsaucePBS Idea Channel


V(ideo B)logs created as a platform for individuals to talk about whatever topics come to mind. Authentic, intimate, and interpersonal by design.

Week 3: YouTube, Genre, and Vlogs as the Primordial Soup of Online Video

Riding off of last week’s broad topic of how libraries and YouTube compare, this week let’s talk (more) about genre. I touched on it at the end of last week’s first post within the context of how different genres of videos map onto different library offerings, but this is a topic that I think deserves a lot of attention, for two reasons. Continue reading “Week 3: YouTube, Genre, and Vlogs as the Primordial Soup of Online Video”

Week 2.1: Libraries vs. YouTube – Collection Development

Libraries have things in all kinds of shapes and formats, and generally these things are acquired according to some kind of policy. For ease (as I just finished my course on Collection Management this summer), here’s a definition by Peggy Johnson in “Fundamentals of Collection Development & Management”:

Collection development: Originally denoted activities involved in developing a library collection in response to institutional priorities and user needs and interests— that is, the selection of materials to build a collection. Collection development was understood to cover several activities related to the development of library collections, including selection, determination and coordination of policies, needs assessment, collection use studies, collection analysis, budget management, community and user outreach and liaison, and planning for resource sharing.

Johnson, Peggy.  (2014).  Fundamentals of Collection Development & Management, 3rd edition.  Chicago, IL:  American Library Association.  (Emphases mine)

Continue reading “Week 2.1: Libraries vs. YouTube – Collection Development”

Week 2: Libraries vs. YouTube – Reference Services

Patron saint of librarians Neil Gaiman put it best: “Google can bring you back 100,000 answers, a librarian can bring you back the right one.”
Reference Transactions are information consultations in which library staff recommend, interpret, evaluate, and/or use information resources to help others to meet particular information needs. Reference and User Services Association. (2008). Definitions of Reference.
If anything is a hallmark of the librarian’s identity, it’s putting people into meaningful contact with the information they seek. It’s one of the first things we learn about in grad school, and oftentimes what draws us to the profession in the first place. Continue reading “Week 2: Libraries vs. YouTube – Reference Services”

Week 1: Libraries and the Internet

Many believe that the world wide web now provides access to all of the world’s accumulated knowledge. A simple Google search will provide all the relevant information a person may desire about a topic. They do not know that valuable information will never become available in machine‐readable form and that much digitized information is only available for a price. Spalding & Wang. (2006). The challenges and opportunities of marketing academic libraries in the USA: Experiences of US academic libraries with global application.   Library Management, 27(6/7), 494-504. doi:10.1108/01435120610702477
This quote may be a little dated in internet-years, but by and large it’s still true, and still relevant: libraries have had trouble when it comes to marketing themselves against (and on) the Internet. This broad point has been tackled by tons of people before me and is an important topic on its own, but it’s as good a place as any to start a discussion on libraries and online video. Continue reading “Week 1: Libraries and the Internet”