Skip to main content

Program Videos: Boosting Your "Attendance" Statistics

Your library just presented a "one-off" program, and attendance was respectable.  However, you suspect that many people who wanted to attend could not, due to some exigency.  How could you reach those patrons without repeating the entire program?  Video-recording is the solution.

The easiest method is simply to video-record the program as it transpires.  You will need a decent digital video camera (most modern smartphones have reasonably good video capability) and a tripod.  Find a location in the program room where the camera/tripod will have a clear view of the action without being blocked or jostled by participants or attendees.  Start recording the video when the program begins, stopping as needed if there are aspects of the program that don't need to be filmed (e.g., when presenters are walking to and from the microphone, or when backdrops or furniture are moved to accommodate different content during the presentation).  This nearly continuous, single-shot camera style makes for a quick and easy video recording that can be swiftly edited in post-production.

Here are a few examples.


Celebrating a Century of Frank Inn
(portrayed by David Reddick)
by Mooresville Public Library (MPL) (2016)



Amos Rusie:  The Hoosier Thunderbolt
by Pete Cava (2016)
(MPL Program Video)

Portions of the program can be sliced off into separate videos, such as the keyboard intro to the Amos Rusie program (above).


Miss Teresa Plays "Take Me Out to the Ballgame"
(Amos Rusie Program Intro) (2016)

Question-and-answer segments may also be placed into a separate video.



Amos Rusie Q & A, by Pete Cava
(MPL Program Video) (2016)


A single continuous program recording can be quite long, and it might be unreasonable to expect patrons to watch the entire video from beginning to end.  As an alternative, long programs can be edited into compact, more easily viewed segments.




Michael Chabon & Richard Price: Research for a Novel
LIVE from the NYPL (2016)
(by The New York Public Library)


Outdoor programs can be video-recorded, too, although there are obvious drawbacks, such as traffic or wind noise picked-up by the microphones.



North Webster Cemetery Walk 2009
Featuring Lori Hickman as Myrtle F. Beezley Likens
by North Webster (Indiana) Community Public Library


That difficulty can be easily overcome, if your outdoor program can move indoors.



Abner and Lottie Gerrard
(portrayed by Clayton & Pam Koher)
(from the 2016 North Webster Cemetery Walk)
by North Webster (Indiana) Community Public Library


Once your program has been video-recorded and edited, and you've uploaded it to a hosting website (e.g., YouTube, Vimeo) or  to your library's website (or to social media, such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or Tumblr), then patrons may "attend" the program at their leisure.  Those viewer statistics can be translated into program "attendance." Arguably, patrons watching equals patrons attending.  Some might consider that an "apples-and-oranges" comparison better kept as separately listed statistics.  Still, viewership statistics are significant.  They demonstrate that your video ventures are reaching online patrons, and that's no different than any of your library's other online presences.  You track your website visits, your Facebook "reach," your Twitter "impressions," etc.  So why not track your video views, too?

Apart from statistics, program video-recordings enable a greater number of patrons to enjoy programs beyond those who could attend the event.  That's better patron service, something libraries constantly strive to achieve.  Capturing a slice in time preserves your programs, giving them greater shelf life at no additional programming cost.  They can be watched repeatedly, if the program was really, really cool.  Who doesn't enjoy favorite television re-runs?  But even though program videos will probably only be watched once, lots of different folks will be watching, so those "onces" quickly add up.

One final note from the legal department:  Of course, you should first obtain written permission from the program presenter(s) and participant(s) before audio-visually recording them.  We have a use authorization form that we provide as a guide.  Meanwhile, our lawyers remind us to say that, by providing this form here, we are not furnishing legal advice nor are we engaging in the practice of law. The form is for informational purposes only.  Each library should consult its own legal counsel regarding the legal sufficiency of any document.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

"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…

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…

Using the MARC 856 Field for Book Trailers

Book trailers are videos used to promote particular books and encourage patrons to read them. They are comparable to movie trailers as marketing tools.  Book trailers are often posted on dedicated video channels, such as YouTube or Vimeo, or on websites, blogs, or other social media.  At Mooresville Public Library, we place our book trailers on the MPL YouTube Channel, as well as links on our website and social media.
Here's an example of one of our book trailers:
MPL Book Trailer #322 A Man Called Ove, by Fredrik Backman
How do patrons discover our book trailers?  A simple Google search (or YouTube search) with the book's title and "book trailer" will retrieve them, along with hundreds of other videos.  Visitors to our website may click links to our YouTube channel or other social media accounts (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, blogs) that feature our videos.  But these are indirect methods of distributing this type of content.  Is there a more direct approach?
Ideally, it…