Promo Trailers: A Library's Video Promotional Tool

Social media has become a significant promotional vehicle for libraries.  Posting notices about upcoming programs or new services or the latest cataloged items on Facebook or Twitter can be more effective in reaching your patrons than even your library website. Pinterest and Tumblr are popular places to share what your library is (or will soon be) doing.  Flickr and Instagram showcase photographs of library programs or events.  Most commonly, posts are made to these social media by brief text coupled with photographs or images.

Have you considered using video as a promotional tool for your library?  Promo trailers can be used to promote any aspect of your library, from new collections to new technologies to programs to services.  My library has been making promo trailers (formerly called program trailers) for over seven years, although we have been rather selective about the subjects we've chosen to promote with that format. Usually, they are (1) long-standing, ongoing programs; (2) new programs that we anticipate will become popular; (3) new (or existing) services; (4) new technologies; or (5) something particularly attention-grabbing.  Some examples might be helpful. Let's look first at library program trailers.

MPL Murder Mystery Dinners Program Trailer (2011)

Booked For Lunch Bunch (MPL Program Trailer #4) (2010)

Bird Club Program Trailer (2014)

Outdoor Walking Program, by Mooresville Public Library
(MPL Program Trailer #23) (2012)

2016 Harry Potter Halloween
by Mooresville Public Library

Self-Guided Walking Tour of Historic Downtown Mooresville
(MPL Program Trailer #6) (2010)

New services or resources are excellent features for promo trailers.

Ukulele Checkout Promo Trailer
by Mooresville Public Library (2017)

WiFi Hotspots Promo Trailer
by Mooresville Public Library (2016)

MPL2GO Mobile App Promo Trailer
by Mooresville Public Library (2016)

Power Up Charging Stations Promo Trailer
by Mooresville Public Library (2016)

Will promo (program) trailers garner the viewership of other types of library videos, such as book trailers, recorded programs, or music parodies?  Our promo trailers have not been watched as often as these other varieties, but viewership has been satisfactory to have justified the effort to make the promos.  Much depends upon how to best reach your audience.  Cross-pollinating your videos (by embedding or linking) to your other social media and website will undoubtedly improve viewership statistics.

More than anything else, promo trailers should be engaging and fun to watch.  You, too, should have fun making them.  It's just another tool in your communication arsenal.


  1. What software do you use to make your movies?

    1. We use Wondershare Filmora and Windows Movie Maker Live (on an old Windows 7 computer). We used to use iMovie, too, before our iMac crashed. For more detail, please visit our blog post at


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