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Using Video to Promote ALA Banned Books Week

When promoting ALA Banned BooksWeek (BBW), most librarians have probably turned to the ol' reliable book display, like so:

Click images to enlarge

Book displays are great.  They centralize selected items, focus patrons' attention on a particular topic or theme, and they're relatively easy and inexpensive to produce.  But they're just so, well, static.  Stuff just sits there until patrons come along.
Another popular static medium we use to promote BBW is the customized book mark.

These take a bit more work but are fine as promotional tools, as far as they go.
How about something more, say, techno-savvy?


2018 Banned Books Week Promo Trailer by Mooresville (Indiana) Public Library

2016 Banned Books Week Promo Trailer by Mooresville (Indiana) Public Library

Since 2010 my library has used videos to promote BBW.  There are the promo trailer variety (above) that help stimulate interest, and these are reasonably effective (some of ours have been viewed thousands of times).  Book trailer…
Recent posts

Book Challenges Due to Social Media Exposure

I work at Mooresville (Indiana) Public Library, and we occasionally receive challenges to items in our collections (usually books) that some patrons consider offensive, unfair, or contrary to their particular religious or value system.  Most of these challenges come verbally from irate patrons complaining to the circulation desk staff.  The library provides a written form in which patrons may explain their objections to specific items and their reasons, but, not surprisingly, many people don't want to commit their attacks to writing.  It's much easier to simply bellow at library staff and demand that the "undesirable" materials be removed "immediately."
We insist that the form be completed before an independent committee will review any complaints.  When patrons fill-out the form, they often cannot identify passages or page numbers upon which the offending words or ideas were presented.  That, of course, if because many people who challenge books and wish to…

Extending Our Facebook Reach Through Local History

In January, 2018, one of our Facebook librarians began a local history quiz.  It was favorably received, but just as the feature was getting some traction, one of our library's key staff members left, which resulted in a duty shift that compelled us to postpone the quizzes until late March, 2018, when they were resumed as a daily Facebook posting through the present  time (end of May, 2018).
Take a look at our Facebook reach statistics so far for 2018 (click images to enlarge):

That's quite a jump for April and May.  The only significant content change in our Facebook postings has been the daily local history quizzes, so we're fairly confident that the reach explosion is due primarily to that feature.
Here's a typical example of one of our local history quizzes:

Facebook Analytics provided the following statistical analysis:

These local history quizzes engage our Facebook patrons more effectively than any other content.  Perhaps Mooresville, Indiana just has the most intere…

Go-Tabs On The Go

Some of our patrons who visit the library cannot afford online devices.  They don't own a smartphone, eReader, tablet, laptop, or other device used to access the Internet.  For years, these patrons have had to visit our computer lab to log-onto a desktop PC (or, now, thin-client workstation), but that's all changed.  Who needs all that expensive technology when you can checkout a portable Internet tablet from the library's circulation desk?
Click Photos to Enlarge


We even have a helpful "how-to" video for patrons to watch.
Portable Tablet Checkout (How-To Video) by Mooresville Public Library
Patrons use their library cards to checkout the tablets from the Tablet Hub.  These tablets are programmed to automatically connect to the library's WiFi network as soon as they are checked out.  The tablets will only operate on library premises, shutting down automatically if taken beyond our WiFi receptivity.  To check-in tablets, patrons simply insert them into an empty por…

"Library Spokescritters" Social Media Success Stories

Previously, we discussed how libraries could use "spokescritters" (i.e., resident animals) to promote their services and collections.  Many of these "spokescritters" have taken to social media as their primary promotional vehicles.  How successful have they been?
Consider Mooresville (Indiana) Public Library's feline roving reporter, Cauli Le Chat.  Her blog, Cat's Eye View @ MPL, has been viewed extensively--as of right now, it has 475,341 viewings.  We saw this graphic from yesterday's blog posting:
Total Blog Viewings (as of February 24, 2018) Cat's Eye View @ MPL
Mooresville Public Library (MPL) serves Brown Township in Morgan County, Indiana, which has a population under 15,000.  Furthermore, Cauli Le Chat officially "retired" as roving reporter early last year, because she doesn't get out as much as she used to (she once lived down the street and would hangout outside the library--hence her "roving reporter" status), and al…

Follow the Screener

When I first became a staff training instructor over 20 years ago, if we wanted to illustrate how to use a particular software or navigate a certain website, we had to take screen-shots that we saved as JPEG images, to which we would add text showing where to click or what to do.  Then we'd import the images into MS-Word or WordPerfect documents.  I wrote training manuals for hospital employees to use payroll software, patient record databases, or MS-Windows programs.  If we were really fancy, we'd prepare a PowerPoint slideshow.
In recent years, trainers have been using screen-capturing software to track their mouse movements on screen that they can incorporate into a video illustrating how to use a particular software or web-based interface.  Of course, my library is just now getting around to purchasing such software, and I've begun experimenting with it.
If, like me, you're new to this screen-capturing world, you might find that the software we use suits your needs:�…

A Million Ways to Watch Library Videos

Psssst!  Want to know how to get viewers to watch your library's YouTube videos over a million times?  Mooresville (Indiana) Public Library (MPL) might have some suggestions.


MPL serves the citizens of Mooresville and Brown Township (in Morgan County, Indiana), with a 2015 population of 13,044.  The MPL YouTube channel currently has 775 videos that, to date, have been viewed 1,083,122 times.  That's more views than, for example, videos on the YouTube channels of Los Angeles Public Library (99,931), Seattle Public Library (891,944), and Indianapolis Public Library (213,439), all of which have made fantastic videos.  MPL's service population is much smaller than these libraries, but its videos have been watched more.  How is that even possible?
MPL began its YouTube channel in January, 2010.  Its most popular videos include children's songs, children's read-alouds, book trailers, and music parodies.  Why are its videos so successful in reaching an audience?  We offer a…