Play and Learn: Podcasts & Videos

The formerly text-based web has exploded into an audio-visual playground. Web content is bursting with images, graphics, sounds and videos. Sites that allow users to stream and/or download audio-visual content are rapidly expanding their offerings. I love that everyday users have the power to create and distribute content with ease. While I am comfortable locating, downloading and consuming online media content, I recently took the time to explore podcasts and videos in more depth.  


I have a very limited attention span for certain types of audio recordings. When driving, I greatly prefer loud music or the sounds of the open road to talk radio or audiobooks. Though not recently, I have listened to a number of podcasts over the last couple years, the most memorable being Google’s Plan Prompts a Question: What’s on the Web? from NPR regarding book digitization projects at Google and the Internet Archive.

I finally gave podcasts another chance. I checked out two podcasts, one professional and one personal. I listened to the Talking with Talis podcast with Diane Hillman on metadata and standards. I also listened to an episode of Sound Opinions, a rock and roll podcast by Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot, on the South by Southwest Music Festival. Both were well-done and informative.




YouTube is interesting. The video quality is poor, but the range of materials is incredible. This popular site also provides a way to reach a very large audience across the globe. I love that libraries and library consortiums now turn to YouTube without hesitation to market their services. Florida’s Ask a Librarian service has been promoted on YouTube through a commercial and a video contest for high school students, to name one example. For me, I have learned how to successfully post a YouTube video to this blog.



10 Ways Public Libraries Can Use Video

Today, the roles of creating, editing and sharing video content are being adopted by organizations in increasingly innovative ways. How might a public library use video content to further the library’s mission?

10 Ways Public Libraries Can Use Video

1. Film community leaders or sports figures reading their favorite children’s books and poems

2. Document the construction of a new library, including a groundbreaking ceremony, interviews with community members and library staff, and the opening day

3. Create a video tour of the library’s permanent art collection

4. Create video tutorials of specific resources and collections, including helpful search strategies (I especially love the MIT Libraries Video Tutorials)

5. Film a unique program offered by the library such as a storytelling festival or one on sign language for babies

6. Create a video tour of the main library

7. Assemble a short video highlighting a range of library resources on a specific topic (including databases, ebooks, print materials, and a reference librarian)

8. Create an action-packed video simply to market the library’s wealth of services and many happenings

9. Film a video-only program for busy adult customers 

10. Hold a contest similar to Ask a Librarian’s recent Director’s Chair contest and encourage local high school students to create videos promoting their branch library

Then, make the content available. Depending on the video, multiple venues may be appropriate for distributing the video. Ideas include posting on YouTube, allowing it to be downloaded or streamed from the library website, submitting it to local media for broadcast, and streaming the video from a laptop at local events.

Supernatural Superserious – R.E.M.

My longtime favorite band R.E.M. will release their album Accelerate on April 1. The first song to be released is “Supernatural Superserious” and here is the video:

The video was directed by Vincent Moon. 

Videos posted on YouTube tend to have mediocre to fair quality. If you liked this video, you may wish to check out the Supernatural Superserious website where versions of the video can be downloaded in high definition. Additionally, visitors are encouraged to create their own versions of the video and post them on the Supernatural Superserious page on YouTube.

R.E.M. also has an official YouTube channel available here.