YouTube wins the “my choice” award for multimedia sharing. YouTube, which is now owned by Google, is a hosting site for videos. Users upload and share their videos, rate and comment on others’ videos, and meander through related videos with similar meta tags. It by far the popular video sharing site and one of the top ten most visited websites on the internet.
Libraries use YouTube to record and share events, create virtual tours of their stacks and services, share the secrets of the lesser known parts of the collections, and offer how-to solutions for frequently asked questions. Librarians should use these capabilities to help them respond to e-mail, text, and chat inquiries. Imagine the convenience of responding to a patron’s request by sending a link to video. Depending on where the video is posted, you can also spread awareness of the library’s other digital services.
I digress for a moment here to mention Creative Commons because as this deals with copyright laws, all librarians should be familiar with it. Creative Commons is a marvelous modification to traditionally restrictive copyright laws. In short, it allows content creators to change the “default ‘all rights reserved’ to ‘some rights reserved’.” They are a “nonprofit organization that enables the sharing and use of creativity and knowledge through free legal tools.” Learn more about them here.