This week is the last week of school, and by extension the last week of this directed study (but not necessarily the last week of this blog) — so what comes next? A few things are on the horizon.
The end of the term, and by extension the end of this directed study, is coming up — so I decided to lean into the participatory nature of technology, and jumped on Twitter to let the people decide what I covered next:
(Note: this week’s post is a retrospective on my experimenting with a new function on YouTube called YouTube Premieres. The aim is to give other librarians an idea of how they can use it for their institutions and what goes into it.)
Since October 22-29 was Open Access Week, UBC Library decided it might be cool to screen Paywall: The Business of Scholarship. (okay so it’s because I casually tweeted to them when it came out). Copyright librarian Stephanie Savage reached out to me to coordinate it, and on Monday the documentary was screened in IKB, with ~15 folks–a mix of librarians and profs–in attendance.
Let’s say that you decide your institution should take the leap and start a YouTube channel. To make this happen, you’ll want to get buy-in from all kinds of folks, and in the process of getting it, you’ll probably end up answering a lot of questions from everyone: leadership, staff, the board, and the public. Likely, you probably have some questions of your own, too!
I can’t predict all of the questions you might get — but based on what’s happened with YouTube in the past, I can give you an idea of what to expect, as well as some answers to point you in the right direction. So let’s go down the list.
Ah, the great struggle of doing anything new in libraries: answering the question, “why should we care?” to the people with the money that makes things happen, in a way that they’re willing to commit it. This was touched upon briefly in Week 4 when we looked at Colburn and Haines’ downright seminal work on libraries and YouTube, but this week I want to do a deeper dive, because this might very well be the way you justify to your donors the continuation of your project.
The week before last, I talked about how libraries use YouTube (or not), but I think it’s also worth looking at how other cultural institutions (Galleries, Libraries, Archives, and Museums – aka GLAM’s) use YouTube as well since I think libraries can draw some inspiration from them.
Alright, this week is going to be a little bit more practical than the others: I’m here to introduce the (Librarian’s YouTube) Toolkit.
Whereas most of this blog is my take on libraries, YouTube, and the various topics relating to them, I’m putting the Toolkit together to give a little bit more order to various resources that I think librarians and libraries could benefit from having in aggregate. The Toolkit isn’t exhaustive, and I don’t think it ever will be (how do you even scope anything organized around a video platform that takes in over 350 hours of video every minute to be exhaustive?), but 1) it’s a start, and 2) it’s Open Source, so hopefully that means it has a chance at being helpful.
Alright, we’ve talked a little bit about what shows up on YouTube and the evolution of sundry genres on the platform, but by and large we’ve only talked about how individuals use the platform, not so much institutions. So, let’s look at the question: how are libraries using YouTube?
Note that anything that comes off as criticism in this week’s post definitely is not criticism of a given institution; we all know that libraries have some issues at the moment when it comes to funding, and making videos for the internet is not free. So, let’s get into it.