Library Videoblogs So Far

So far, I’ve seen four libraries that are videoblogging:

  1. Westerville Public Library, which I mentioned yesterday. They seem to be focusing on videos of programming right now.
  2. Manchester Public Library’s Teen Matrix – “a video podcast about books.” Not sure if they plan to update this (all three videos are from Nov 2005).
  3. Orange County Library System is also offering videoblogs. They have set up their videoblogs to be compatible with iTunes – wow.
  4. Public Library Delft is videoblogging, podcasting, and blogging. Whew!
  5. Kenton County Public Library’s Off the Shelf program: “airs every week on Monday and Wednesday at 9:30 pm, and then again on Saturday at 4:30 pm on Insight Channel 21. You can also subscribe using iTunes or our RSS feed.” Found via

Now… anyone else? Does anyone know of any other library-oriented videoblogs not mentioned here? Tell me about them please!

Westerville Public Library Videocasts (well, sort of videocasts…)

Westerville Public Library is shooting video! I just saw this (via Library Stuff): Westerville Public Library is doing a few pretty hip things:

  1. They have created something called castr, that they claim is their “podcast delivery system” (more on that in a sec). So far, they have three videos (a zoo visit, story time, and spanish class).
  2. They have made their castr page look like a web 2.0 site, complete with large text, a simple design, a gradiated image for the page background, and a large image (and they have also left out the “e” in castr, and given it a flickr-like color combination).
  3. They are using Ajax (cool geek web coding language)
  4. They feature one of the videos in the large ad on their main page, with a big “watch this movie” link (in fact, their whole site looks nice… I might have to do another Cup ‘o Java review of it)

This is the second attempt at library videocasting I’ve seen – the first one being Manchester Public Library’s Teen Matrix site. See? I’ve been saying video will be coming… and it is… and it’s pretty cool!

OK – so why am I saying “attempt at videocasting?” Because, technically speaking, Westerville hasn’t really created a podcast/videocast. They have created a blog that links to videos. Sounds picky, but it’s not – a true videocast/podcast has the video/audio file embedded with the blog post, so a podcast aggregator can automatically download the media file. That’s what makes a pod/videocast so cool. So I’d humbly ask Westerville Public to go that one extra step – then they’d be extremely cool (and have their wording right, too).

Update: Aaron, the guy who created Castr, emailed me and commented on this post. Castr is now a true videocast. Cool beans!
All that aside, I find it exciting to see online video slowly becoming part of a library’s digital outreach tools. We’ll definitely be seeing more of this type of service!


More Myspace Thinking

I’ve been looking at some library myspace accounts lately, notably Steele Creek Library and Denver Public Library’s eVolver Myspace accounts. Both are way cool. Steele Creek, especially, has a nifty background on the page that I think rocks.

And both sites have great content – they both use the blog part of Myspace, so any of their myspace “friends” will be updated on events and new stuff when the libraries decide to update. And both use the Blurbs section for different things: Denver points to their Ask a Librarian service, their teen website, and includes a catalog search interface right in Myspace!

Steele Creek Library includes Youtube videos of library events – which is an amazingly cool way to use Youtube… and Myspace… simultaneously.

Then there’s the usual comments section where kids say stuff like “We heart you for the freinds addy”…

I think both these libraries are really going for it, and getting a lot of mileage out of their myspace accounts. I also think they could go one or two steps further. Denver’s Myspace account includes popular music – some band called Hot IQs plays when you go to the page. But as far as I can tell, Denver Public Library doesn’t own a copy of the CD (it doesn’t show up in their catalog, anyway). You have the option to pick songs on myspace – so why not pick things that teens can check out, and even link from myspace directly to the catalog record? That’d be one cooler, for sure.

My other idea is this – Myspace has two types of accounts: the normal one, and one for musicians/bands. The added benefit of registering as a band? You can upload your original songs to your myspace site for everyone to listen to download to their iPods, etc. Pretty cool for bands.

But wait! Can’t a library be slightly devious, and register as a band? Heck – right now we’re registering as a teenager (ex – Denver Public Library is described as an 18 year old female). So why not register as a band? That way, you can download an audio file (I think up to 4 of them, actually). And what could those files be? How about:

  • A compilation of 30-second samples of new music at the library?
  • Your hip library podcast on upcoming teen books
  • A regular what’s hot at the library podcast
  • original music from local bands
  • etc

This type of thing provides the library with another way to get into your teen’s iPod… which is a good thing!

Mobile Instant Messaging and ebuddy

mobile ebuddyI just finished playing around with ebuddy, at It’s a web-based IM service, like meebo. But the thing I was interested in is this – they offer a mobile version of their ebuddy service!

I haven’t wanted to actually PAY for IM on my treo, which I could do through services like VeriChat or Mundu Messenger (here’s great article about Treo-based IM clients). I’m cheap – what can I say? And honestly, I’m surprised there aren’t more free offerings on such a basic mobile-based service (that would also send periodic ads for sustainability…).

Anyways, the mobile version of ebuddy works ok. The screenshot to the right shows me chatting with the infamous LibrarianInBlack. The chat functions are pretty easy to figure out… but I quickly noticed one huge drawback: I had to hit the reload link to see the conversation! I could type my message easily enough and hit the Sned button… but then nothing would happen after that. But when I hit the Reload link, then I’d see that the good LIB had been chatting back…

So. It’s free! It’s web-based! It doesn’t automatically screen refresh!

Videoblogging Books

For those interested in learning more about videoblogging, here are some great books for starters:

Videoblogging For DummiesVideoblogging For Dummies
Have you ever felt the urge to share the entertaining and insightful things that happen in your everyday world? Got a message you’d like to get across to others? A cause you want people to support? A videoblog allows you to share whatever you choose in a colorful, interesting way that gets attention—and furthermore, videoblogging is fun!

Secrets of VideobloggingSecrets of Videoblogging
Here’s the perfect introduction to the art of the videoblog, or vlog, whatever your subject. Filled with both technical and creative tips, this fun, fast, full-color guide provides everything you need to get started vlogging … Vlogging pioneers Michael Verdi and Ryanne Hodson are co-founders of NODE101, an international network of videoblog classrooms, and, NO DE101’s online equivalent. Verdi also vlogs at, while Hodson produces vlogs at and

Amazing, isn’t it? You’re on equal footing with multibillion-dollar TVand movie producers. Videoblogging lets your audience see your cause,your story, or your personal creations—and you can distribute your showto anyone with Internet access. And since the videobloggingcommunity is all about sharing, more than 20 expertshave kicked in tips and ideasto make this book the ultimatevideoblogging crash course. So head for the checkout, grabfresh batteries for your videocamera, and let’s get started!

Hands-On Guide to Video Blogging and Podcasting : Emerging Media Tools for Business CommunicationHands-On Guide to Video Blogging and Podcasting : Emerging Media Tools for Business Communication
In The Hands-On Guide Video Blogging and Podcasting industry experts explain these emerging media tools from a professional perspective. Quickly learn the technical aspects of video blogging and podcasting along with their business and financial ramifications.