Category Archives: videos in library marketing

10 Great Library Marketing Videos


Librarians are known for their creativity and love of technology. And with today’s easy-to-use video-making apps and programs, librarians are using these twin passions to create some terrific marketing videos for their libraries. Below are 10 great library videos, everything from parody to patron endorsements to ghouls in the stacks.

1. The Research Games — Part One: You Learn or Die

This parody of the Hunger Games from Texas A & M Libraries draws you in immediately with its high production value and professional narrator. Throughout the story different aspects of the library are marketed, such as the reference librarians, the text-a-librarian service, the library’s holdings and the cafe.

2. Library Palooza: Innovative Library Marketing

This video details SUNY Albany’s Library Palooza, a welcome event held the day before classes in the fall semester. Librarians market the library using giveaways from their vendors, by partnering with other departments across the campus, and by creating a fun environment that includes photos with the school mascot.

3. Research Rescue | Episode 1 “Stuck”

This entertaining first episode of a multi-part series from the Harold B. Lee Library at Brigham Young University has plot, drama, and, best of all, librarians as actors.

4. Effective Library Marketing: Think Out of the Box

These video details Southeastern Louisiana State Library’s “Learn to Love Books All Over Again” day, a Valentine’s Day-themed event to celebrate reading and eBooks. What is the key to a successful library marketing event? “You have to serve food!”

5. Marketing Your Library Preview

The importance of directing your message to specific audiences to better meet your goals is emphasized in this library marketing video, which advises to “create specific messages, deliver them, and then measure your success.”

6. Brand Launch by Richland County Libraray

A great video that accentuates the service orientation of the library staff with endorsements from library patrons. A satisfied customer is often the best marketing tool for your library products and services.

7. White Plains Public Library: Transforming Lives, Every Day

This simple but very well-done video has the patrons, through their personal stories of how they use the library and why the library is important to them, market the libraries services and holdings — from databases to computers, reference help, tools for managing stock portfolios, computer classes, job search resources, and English language classes, there is a patron and a personal story for practically every service the library offers.

8. University of Maryland Gangnam Style Parody

This terrific parody of the song takes place in the university’s library. While none of the library’s services are mentioned, a video like this makes the library cool and just makes people want to go there. With over 190,000 YouTube views and counting, this is a marketing effort that will reap results for years to come.

9. “My Library” — ARY Campaign

This short but very effective ad for the Cedar Rapids Public Library is incredibly creative and well done, with kids voices at the end each claiming the library to be “theirs.”

10. Libraries Will Survive

Central Rappahannock Public Library staff and patrons singing and dancing to their own version of Gloria Gaynor’s “I will Survive.” It goes something like this: “Come on now walk, in our door, find inspiration and knowledge — how-to-books to ancient lore…”

Bonus! The Haunted Library

From a branch of the New York Public Library comes this spooky marketing video with a terrific surprise ending.

With today’s video-making apps and your creativity, there is no limit to the number of ways you can market your library’s services with videos. We hope you find some inspiration from the above videos to take your library marketing campaign to the next level.

Library Marketing Tips Using Google Buzz

Use the Buzz to Build One

Google’s new microblogging service, is getting a lot of, well, buzz. “Hello World!” has literally been replaced by “Buzz! Buzz!” by new people trying it out. If you’re not familiar with it, here’s the best way to explain it:

It’s all of the elements that one could think of getting out of Twitter (more than 140 characters, the ability to post videos and photos) packed neatly into your gmail account. While there are still some kinks to work out (you get an email every time someone you’re following posts or comments, which could get really annoying fast), Gmail’s built-in active user base of 176 million users is making it a clear force to be reckoned with.

In comparison, Twitter claims to have 75 million users and about 25% of accounts are reported to be inactive. Foursquare, known by some as “The Twitter of 2010″ is similar in that you “check in” using GPS on your phone and has been building momentum in it’s growth. David Lee King recently had a great post about it called “Foursquare and Libraries – Definitely Something There!” And I would agree, but it seems Buzz might be hot on the trail as it has the same built-in GPS/Geo-Location features and it works directly with Google Maps. Granted, it’s currently missing the fun “Mayor” game element Foursquare has, but this is a numbers game and Google definitely has numbers.

Library Marketing Tips for Using Google Buzz

Get signed up, get started and tell some associates.
Either for yourself or for your library, sign up for a Gmail account (which will give you a Google Buzz account automatically). If you have a Gmail account, but haven’t logged in lately, you’ll be greeted by a note about Google Buzz and can get started right away.

Videos + Photos = Exposure
Let’s be honest, many status updates just really aren’t that interesting unless you know the person doing them. That said, there’s now an opportunity (that shows up in Google results), to put more of the content you’ve created out on the web. Seemingly one of the best things about Buzz right now is your ability to post videos, videos, links and more than 140 characters to promote your library and the services you offer. If you’re already posting to Twitter or Facebook, make sure you add Buzz to your list and some would argue it should go on top with these mult-media adding abilities.

Follow, Follow, Comment
It’s only been around for a few days, but one of the elements that grabbed me quickly was my contacts showing up as people I was following. We use Twitter with some success, but instantly being able to see my friends buzzing around (most who don’t use Twitter regularly), opened up my eyes to the bigger possibilities of Buzz. It can work for you too. It might take a little bit for more people to start posting, but commenting on someone’s buzz gets their attention.

For example, my first buzz was geo-tagged by our office. This guy randomly calls me a nerd, then gives me double points for having a photo of a cat, offers to buy me coffe? A little creepy? Sort of, but also pretty cool. He got my attention and guess what? I checked out his website after he commented.
Google Buzz, a great place for making friends?

Have fun with it!
I’m not going to tell you how to have fun, I just think marketing is a whole lot better when you’re having fun doing it.

Make sure you’re listed on Google Maps
When someone is using the GPS function (currently only available on iPhones and Android), it will choose locations closest to them. If they’re at or near your library (or you are), make sure your library is able to be found. It’s an extra touch point/impression for the library when someone is buzzing either in your building or near it.
The best way to see if you’re on google maps is to search for your library’s name and then the city. If you see it, you’re there. If you don’t, visit and click “Put your business on Google Maps.” You should be there, but make sure anyway.

Read this other blog post
It was literally just IMd to me as I was typing this, it’s great, from Jeremiah Owyang: “Web Strategy Matrix: Google Buzz vs Facebook vs MySpace vs Twitter (Feb 2010)” It breaks down all of the social networks into a matrix giving you various details and thoughts about each.

If you have any other ideas or thoughts, post them in the comments.

Happy Buzzing!

Update: Someone just Buzzed me this great post from entitled 12 Undocumented Tricks for Google Buzz, worth a read.

Audio and Video Messaging – GoldMail Offering Free Version (Sweet)

GoldMail announced today that they’re offering a freemium version of their audio slideshow messaging software. We’ve been a GoldMail customer for awhile now, thought of a great way to use text messaging for sales people to be able to “text a GoldMail” when out in the world and I’m happy to see them offering a free version. I think many organizations will benefit from it, definitely a great fit in sales, marketing, training or even just fun presentations. It’s easy, viral and extremely useful.

Videos grab people’s attention and there’s something about being able to easily add a personalized voice message to a slideshow (or powerpoint) that makes this technology a homerun. Add the email (or embeddable code) element and you have a product that literally sells itself. You watch a GoldMail to learn what it is, how cool is that?

If you’re in any business that needs to update content on a regular basis and benefits from a personalized message over a canned one (who doesn’t?), definitely check it out and let me know what you think in the comments.

Library Marketing Tips, Part 2: The Morning News, Videos and Slideshows

Using Videos and/or Slideshows to Market Your Library Services

I have a horrible habit of watching anything moving on a screen. Blame it on a short attention span or being raised as a latch-key kid, but if it’s on a screen and it’s moving, I can’t seem to take my eyes off of it. I’ve gotten better, now if I go into a restaurant and see TVs, I will sit facing away, making dinners with my fiancee significantly more pleasant.

The Morning News

We were very impressed and pleased when we heard that not one, but TWO, of our libraries in Louisiana (East Baton Rouge Parish Library and Ouachita Parish Public Library) had success in getting on morning news talk shows at their local television stations to talk about their new Text a Librarian service. Both had big success with this type of outreach and increased the amount of people texting them questions. This all depends on your ability to capture the attention of your local news, of course, and we found a video from University of Kansas on its KUJH channel announcing they were offering text messaging reference services. If you’ve been able to get on once, it’s easier to get on a second time and with mobile phones and services creating such a big buzz these days, crafting a great story, press release and email can prove to be quite fruitful. We understand not everyone has the time and energy to submit news to local TV stations, but we wanted to show this example. You may not be surprised to find out that both of these libraries are using other marketing methods to get the word out, contributing to their success.

The morning news videos can be found here:
East Baton Rouge Parish Library
Ouachita Parish Public Library
Update 8/17/09: The San Jose Public Library got on local talk radio news, which is getting them a lot of usage today.
Update 8/18/09: San Jose Public Library video on local television news (CBS).

So what if you can’t get on the news? How else does creating a video help you?

Besides the fact that they grab people’s attention and many people like watching videos, they are now very “viral,” easy to pass on to others. Even the White House Office of Health Reform is using video to spread the word about its policies and to dispel rumors. Simply put, they help you differentiate your message from text and photos and enable you to create a little more excitement around offering your text messaging service. Plus, they can be fun to make.

The ‘How To’ Marketing Video

The best videos show, rather than tell and have made ShamWow an incredibly successful product. Mastics-Moriches-Shirley Community Library made a great video using actual footage of someone texting in a question and getting a response, showing how simple the service is to use.

We’ve created digital assets, copy and step-by-step instructions for our libraries on how to make a video using Animoto (over 30 seconds will cost you $3), but even without this information provided, you can make a “How To” motion graphics video/slideshow by following the information you see in the video below:

Things to consider when making your video / slideshow:

1. Keep it short (preferably under 1 minute).
2. Make it easy to share. Many of the best known services (see list below) enable you to quickly update code and share with social media sites, but also check to see that it’s easy for people to send along to others, helping the word of mouth marketing about your service.
3. Use music if possible. PublicDomain4U has a list of MP3s in the public domain that could make great music for your video or slideshow.

Easy Video/Slideshow Creation Tools:

This post isn’t an exhaustive search, but here are a few that I tried and had great success with.
One True Media – Easy to create and share via embedded links, youtube, etc. Free to use.
Animoto – Very easy to create and share. Free for a 30 second video, $3 for a longer one (worth the $3, in my opinion)
SlideShare – Free and seemingly already popular among librarians. You can create a slidecast, easy to upload from a Power Point document. Can add MP3s of the presenter talking, but no music (a drawback).
Smilebox – Fairly easy to use, you have to download to your computer (Mac and PC friendly), but once you download it and create a slideshow, Smilebox makes it very easy to share to blogs, social network pages, etc. Free with ads.

Videos and slideshows are great attention grabbers. Getting on the morning news (or any news) is obviously wonderful, but sometimes you need to create your own buzz and we hope this post has helped. We look forward to seeing yours. Thanks and see you next week!

Bookmark and Share