Video, Why Bother?

I’ve been having an interesting discussion at work lately. And by lately, I mean the last 2 years. Whenever the topic of marketing comes up, I suggest videos. And the response from almost everyone is:

“No one watches video.”

At which point the conversation is essentially over, because if you believe that no one is watching video, then, all my facts and figures about how video is the most popular format on the web aren’t going to have any effect.

Infographic of "Why Video is the Best form of Engagement" frm visual.ly
From: http://visual.ly/why-video-best-form-engagement

What I think is happening when people are saying “no one watches video” what they are actually saying is:

“I don’t watch video, and don’t see the value of information shared this way.”

That is a discussion I need to start because video is fun! With video, tutorials become a lot more transparent, with video we can give library staff a voice and possibly face when they are communicating.

There are a lot of ways that video can help us add value to our community.

  • Storytimes
  • Puppet shows
  • Technology Tutorials
  • Book talks
  • Interviews with authors
  • Personal Histories
  • Highlighting Collections

This small set of ideas would mean that kids and their parents could re-visit their favourite programs, or watch one that they had  missed, or someone troubleshooting an ebook issue at home would be able to get help even when the library is closed. We could be adding to the historical record of our community by creating and sharing personal histories. And by putting faces and names to our staff, we are creating connections with the community without every leaving the building! (But we should do that as well). Video can act as an archival activity, creating a record for future staff and the community.

So, video is valuable. It is also not that hard. At least once you get over the embarrassment of hearing your own voice.

There are lots of different tools to create and edit video (I’m really fond of Camtasia at the moment), but really all you need is a script (words!) and patience (a real useful skill for library work). Building videos really fits with library work – providing information, attention to detail, sharing…

And because I might as well put myself in as a guinea pig, here is one of my most recent videos.