Library Time – a song and video from my Library

The short version: My library wrote and recorded a song, and here’s the Youtube video for it! You can also:

 Longer version: Why did we do this?

Earlier this year, my library remodeled the kids area of the library and rebranded it the Kids Library. Part of our grand opening included some of our YA staff writing a song, and library staff performed the song at the grand opening (I played drums! Video here).

Our Marketing Director liked the song so much that she sent the “library band” to a local recording studio to have the song professionally recorded.

Then we decided to go all out with it. I did a number of things with the song:

  • registered the song with the Copyright office.
  • set up a CDBaby account for the library. CDBaby allows us to easily get a song into iTunes, Amazon, Google Play, etc for purchase.
  • yes – we’re in iTunes!
  • the library now has a Soundcloud account.
  • and we made a music video for the song. Because these days, EVERY new song needs a Youtube music video, right?

What’s our goal? We simply want to share the song on our website, with our community, and with other libraries and librarians. The nice thing about the song? It’s very library-focused. So if other libraries wanted to use the song as opening theme music for their kids events, it might work well.

Difficulties along the way. There was a bit of a learning curve for me, mainly with CDBaby:

  • CDBaby is pretty strict with band names. We couldn’t be “the Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library Band.” Apparently, you’re not supposed to mention brands or corporations in band names or album art. So the library band’s name is “The Literaries.”
  • CDBaby has two pricing options for songs – a basic one and a Pro version that includes ASCAP or BMI registration for broadcast royalties. Again, because this song was a work for hire by an organization, we couldn’t easily register the song. You can only sign up for ASCAP or BMI as an actual person/songwriter (not as an organization).

So – watch some of us (including yours truly) be a bit goofy and have some fun in the video. Listen to the song. If you think it might work for your library (or if you just like the song), please buy it!

Library360 – a new Video Series for my Library

Here’s the first video for Library360, a new video series for my library. Our goals are pretty simple (or lofty): to introduce our library’s customers to the library – our services, staff, etc. All the cool stuff the library does that doesn’t always get noticed.

We’ll see what happens!

In the meantime, here’s what our plan looks like for the video series:

  • 3 minutes or under (didn’t quite make it at 3:16, but we were close!)
  • big goal – make the library more visible to Topeka
  • post a new video every two weeks
  • do this for one year
  • ask for interaction (likes, comments, subscribers)

Question – anyone else doing a regular video series for your library? I’d love to know about it!

Photo Permissions at the Library

Photo 6A couple of weeks ago, Jessamyn over at posted about her experience with photo permissions at a library she was visiting. Interesting story – make sure to read the comments!

That reminded me that my  library recently redid our photo permission policy. Like many libraries, our previous photo policy required us to get everyone appearing in the photos to sign-off before we could use the photo … which was pretty hard to do. We ended up not taking many photos!

So, a group of us (admin, me, and a some of our marketing team) met with our lawyer to get some clarification … and ended up with a more flexible, modern photo permissions guidelines!

Here’s what we do now (reposted from our staff website):

A recent conversation with the library’s attorney led to some changes in how we proceed with taking pictures and/or video of our library customers. We hope this encourages more photographing and videotaping of library moments and publishing of them online.

When Do We Need to Use Photo Permission Forms?

For Models. For example, say you bring in your child, grandkid, cousin, friend, etc. and shoot photos of him or her, he or she is acting as a model and needs to sign a photo permission form.

For Close-ups. For example, you are holding a program. You take a close-up photo of one child because you love the expression on that child’s face. You need that child (or his or her parent in this case) to sign a photo permission form.

When Do I Not Need to Use the Form?

At programs held at the library. Want to take pictures at your program? Now it’s easier than ever. (yeah! no more backs-of-heads shots!) In lieu of photo permission forms, programers will need to announce at the beginning of each program that “the library may photograph or videotape you for library promotional purposes. Notify library staff if you do not want to be photographed.” HOWEVER,  if you zoom in for a close-up on one particular person in a large group, you will still need to get a photo permission form signed from that person.

In addition, Communications/Marketing has placed the following announcement in Oct./Nov.‘s connectnow, where it will be published with each edition. That does not mean you can neglect to make the announcement at the beginning of each program.

“Programs, events and classes are photographed or videotaped for library promotional purposes. Notify library staff if you prefer not to be photographed.”

That is not to take the place of the official announcement at the beginning of each event.

So – much easier paperwork for us (as in almost none). Also, this allows us to walk around the library and take random shots that we can use on our website, etc. This of course just applies to library staff. Patrons can take photos in our library – no problems. If they are setting up a formal photo session (we have that once in awhile) or if they are local news organizations, they need to talk to our head of marketing and communications first.

That’s what we do, anyway. What types of permissions does your library need for photographs at the library?