YouTubin’ It

youtubeapk3.jpgI often find myself searching YouTube when I want to know more about a particular subject. For example, in addition to my INFO 233 course, I’m also taking INFO 248 right now and therefore learning a lot about cataloging. Many universities and veteran librarians have created helpful YouTube videos that help break down this sometimes confusing world of cataloging.

I am not a cataloger by trade, so that course is a bit challenging at times. A recent assignment had us differentiating FRBR, FRAD, AACR2, and RDA. While the professor has provided some great readings on these topics, including her own text and lectures, the addition of some YouTube videos has supported my learning in this area. In one search, I found a concise overview of FRBR that built upon the knowledge I had already gleaned. The video was created by Andrea Lorenz, a cataloger at Mayville State University in North Dakota and can be found by clicking on the video link below.


In addition to providing learning assistance for myself, I subscribe to different YouTube channels to expose myself to a variety of book reviews and book trailers. Most review publications and book companies have their own channel. For example, School Library Journal has a channel and has created a playlist titled “30-second book talks”. I watch these videos myself to learn about the different books I can add to my own book talks. I am also going to share these with my students who record their own book talks. Our library has a YouTube channel where I publish student book talks. While I give them an in-person demonstration, along with written directions & a step-by-step process to assist them in this endeavor, I could also provide the link to these book talks to give them yet another model.

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The Junior Library Guild also has their own channel with videos and playlists that include book reviews, book trailers, professional development webinars, book readings, and author interviews. Deborah Ford is one presenter that I always try to watch at the CSLA conference every year. She also publishes her reviews on this channel (although with a partner usually). Here is a video of her reviews of the recent Boston Horn Book Awards, including the trending books Most Dangerous: Daniel Ellsberg and the Secret History of the Vietnam War by Steve Sheinkin and Symphony for the City of the Dead by M.T. Anderson.  

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There are a couple of librarians who I subscribe to as well. One is Michelle Luhtala of New Canaan High School. Every year, she records a new welcome video for the school’s freshmen assembly. She records it so that there are fresh faces in each year’s video and so it does not get outdated. I would love to record one myself and have it played at our assemblies and post it on our website. Luhtala also posts videos of online tutorials to guide students and staff through different tasks because “as many librarians…have already discovered, making a screencast can be an excellent way to develop online tutorials to walk students through how to use the library website or to answer reference questions about specific databases!” (Hilliker, 2015). I have already adopted this strategy and have recorded a video for my own library using Screencastomatic (video available by clicking on the image below).

Video 1

Students tend to gravitate towards people their own age though. There are many aptly named “Booktubers” out there with huge followings (I’m talking over 200 thousand subscribers). One of the students’ favorites is Poland Bananas Books. She has approximately 264,000 followers and in addition to her book reviews and music videos, has taped author interviews like THIS ONE with Jenny Haan. I appreciate her book talks because she gives a reaction based on a younger perspective. I have also been inspired by her videos to create new Book Talk topics and Pinterest boards such as “Tearjerkers” and “The Noobs Guide to Contemporary Reads”.  Other fun Booktubers to follow: Tashapolis, JesseTheReader, and Katytastic.




Hilliker, R. R. (2015). Screencast-O-Matic: A Librarian’s Best Friend?.School Librarian’s Workshop, 35(6), 23-24.



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