LibraryYOU webinar for WebJunction

Want to learn more about LibraryYOU? I will be doing a webinar for WebJunction on Thursday, May 2 at 1:00 p.m. Eastern/10:00 p.m. Pacific.

Here are the details:


LibraryYOU: Library as Content Creator
Learn how the Escondido Public Library partnered with local experts to create digital content for the library’s collection. Funded by an LSTA grant, the LibraryYOU project consists of a digital media studio, a website, and public training classes encouraging community members to share their knowledge and learn how to communicate through digital media formats. LibraryYOU helps strengthen connections with local businesses, establishing the library as a technology leader in the community.

This webinar covers how Escondido set up LibraryYOU and how other libraries, large and small, can set up similar community content creation projects.

Register for this webinar (it’s free!) – and while you’re there, check out all the other fabulous webinars offered by WebJunction.

What’s new with LibraryYOU?

Since the end of the grant, we have slowed down a bit in creating new content for the LibraryYOU site. However, we do have new projects lined up including a drawing video by 91-year-old Laura Glusha (being edited by Viktor now) and a second video about how to do searches in our local history collection.

anythinkI was recently invited to talk about LibraryYOU at the Anythink Libraries’ TechFest staff training day. Their Wright Farms Library received a MacArthur grant to create a Chicago YOUmedia type of digital media lab for their teens. At TechFest staff broke into groups to learn everything from stop motion animation to digital photography to video and audio recording and editing. It was an amazing day and I was honored to have had the opportunity to have participated in it. Their new lab is called The Studio and I’m excited to hear about all the amazing work they will be doing there.


Our most exciting news is that our Teen Librarian, Joanna Axelrod, has teamed up with LibraryYOU’s Viktor Sjoberg to start a Pop Up Podcast program for teens in two locations on the east side of Escondido that used to be served by our now-closed East Valley Branch. You can read all about this program on the Pop Up Podcast Tumblr. The first podcast is already available! We’re happy that the LibraryYOU equipment is finding new uses and that we are able to focus on working with teens this time.

Links from conference presentations

If you will be attending or have attended my presentation at either the Internet Librarian or California Library Association conferences, here is a list of links to websites, software, and services I mentioned:



Internet Librarian 2012 – presentation slides


Libraries with Digital Media Labs/Projects

YOUmedia Chicago
Teen learning center at the Chicago Public Library filled with books, computers, and digital media tools.

Skokie Public Library Digital Media Lab
Stocked with digital media equipment so that patrons may “creatively express themselves”.

Digital Storystation
California libraries program to record personal narratives.


Video/Audio Editing Software and Storage Services

Free software for recording and editing software.

Adobe Audition
Adobe’s software for recording and editing software.

Podcast hosting service.

Video hosting service.


Other Links

LibraryYOU records in the PAC
The list of all our LibraryYOU videos & podcasts in our catalog.

My Escondido Kitchen
The cooking blog created by one of our LibraryYOU contributors.

LibraryYOU Film Festival

The LSTA grant period for our LibraryYOU project is coming to an end in a week. While we plan to continue to the project, it will be greatly impacted by the loss of the two staff positions paid for with grant money. We have applied for a different local grant and are waiting to hear if we received it and we’re looking into getting more volunteers and interns to help us in the recording studio.

The LibraryYOU staff have created over 35 videos and 3 podcasts so far. We’re showcasing all of this excellent content at the first annual LibraryYOU Film Festival tomorrow. Many of the local experts will be there to introduce their videos and halfway through we will be doing a live podcast with a woman who learned how to create a podcast from taking a LibraryYOU training. We even have a little something for the kids – balloon artist Don Ewald, who created a couple videos, will be around to make balloon animals.

We decided to break the schedule into subject areas so people can drop in throughout the afternoon and catch some videos that may be of interest. Here’s the schedule:

11:00 – 11:30
Introduction to LibraryYOU project

11:30 – 12:30
Arts & Crafts

12:30 – 1:30
Cooking, Home & Garden

1:30 – 2:30
Live podcast recording

2:30 – 3:00
Health & Fitness

3:00 – 3:30
History & Travel

New podcasting class

Digital Services Librarian, Viktor Sjöberg, will be training patrons how to record and edit their own podcast at our upcoming LibraryYOU classes. This time we decided to keep the class size small so we could give more individual assistance.

Here’s the class description:

Record & Edit Your Own Podcast

Explore the basics of sound recording, editing and podcasting. Learn about using portable recorders, microphones, and sound editing software (Audacity). Do you already have a sound recording that you would like use in your podcast? Bring it in and we will help you make it happen!

Classes filled up right away thanks to this article in the local North County Times newspaper: Library schedules free podcasting classes  We even have a waiting list.

We’ve discovered so many people in our community with knowledge they want to share. It is exciting that these content creators have been so receptive about LibraryYOU and the classes.

Learn more about LibraryYOU

This blog is tracking the LibraryYOU project but I realize that blogs aren’t the best way to learn in a linear way. If you want to fill in some blanks about the project or hear longer, more detailed discussions about it, please check out a 30 minute recorded interview I did for Brenda Hough of the Northeast Kansas Library System (the link will launch Blackboard). Also, I have just heard that my proposal to present at the California Library Association conference (San Jose, November 2012) has been accepted and I’ll be doing a longer, more thorough talk about the project there.

Outreach at the Farmer’s Market

Our local farmers’ market is just two blocks away from the library. The turnout is usually great due to San Diego’s lovely weather and amazing produce. So as part of our outreach for LibraryYOU, I got in touch with the Downtown Business Association to see about getting a table. It was very easy since its not yet summer – the busiest time for the market.

We set up a table with LibraryYOU business cards and posters, flyers for other library events and services, and a laptop to show off our LibraryYOU videos. Then we had our photo taken and we posted it on our Facebook page to encourage our patrons to come out and say hello.

Since we weren’t selling anything, the only way to attract customers was to ask them a question. We went with “Have you been to the library recently?” If that stopped them (it did about 80% of the time), we’d follow up with “May I tell you about your new program?” And then we’d launch into a quick description about LibraryYOU.

Everyone who heard about it thought it was a great idea. It was cool to see such genuine enthusiasm from the community. We heard comments like:  “That’s a really great idea, you guys!” A couple people even admitted that they really didn’t want to stop and listen to what we had to say but they were glad they did because they were really interested in LibraryYOU.

We had two goals for this outreach event. The first was to make the public aware of the LibraryYOU project and the second was to find more contributors. I believe we did both. We gave out a lot of business cards to encourag people to check out the videos on the website, and we collected a few business cards from people who might be interested in making a video. We also made contacts with the interesting vendors in the neighboring booths (a worm farmer and a fiber artist).

If I had to change anything, I’d put something on the table that would attract people to us. We have a spinner wheel that has been used at street fairs in the past. We just didn’t have a chance to collect prizes to give out. It would also be nice to have a larger screen to show off our LibraryYOU content. Not sure when we’ll be doing an outreach event like this one again, but will definitely keep those ideas in mind.

Public training classes – online video & podcasting

We started our LibraryYOU public training classes this month. One of our goals with this project is to get our community excited about making this own videos and podcasts, so we are offering some introductory classes. See the full class descriptions.

We have been disappointed by the attendance (7 at online video and 5 at podcasting) so we’ll have to consider the interest level and our advertising efforts. However, the people who did attend were very engaged and responded positively on the evaluations. (UPDATE: The local newspaper advertised our classes with a link on their home page yesterday and our upcoming classes are now filling up!)

Our Digital Services Librarian, Viktor Sjöberg, did the Intro to Podcasting training yesterday and it was so interesting  that it made me want to make my own podcast. He started out by recording his voice on the Soundcloud iPad app to show the class just how easy it is to record and then upload a file to the web. My other favorite part was when he took the audio from the podcast he is currently editing for LibraryYOU (an interview with a Holocaust survivor) and showed that a sound editing program (in this case, Audacity) is useful for doing things like adding music to create a mood. It was a short, but powerful example.

Several of the same patrons attended both the classes and it was great getting to know them and their reasons for being interested in online media. One participant works at the nearby Antique Gas and Steam Engine Museum and wants to get some videos up on their website. They might even contact us about making a LibraryYOU video of some of the weavers that work at the museum.

Another man was interested in the books we have added to the collection to support LibraryYOU. We created book lists for the classes so that participants could get in-depth information to continue learning. We parked a book cart in the computer lab so people could grab a book after the training. I’ll be posting the book lists on the Tips & Tools blog soon. Be sure to check out Viktor’s post on Creating a Podcast which we shared with the class so they could remember what they’d learned.

Toastmasters attracts local experts

I joined a local Toastmasters group when I started LibraryYOU knowing that I would be doing presentations about the project to local area groups (I wrote that step into the grant, so I knew I had to stick to it). Getting contributors is all about talent scouting and outreach and yes – doing presentations. It was a pleasant surprise when I realized that many of my fellow Toastmasters would make excellent LibraryYOU contributors. In fact, a Toastmaster made our first video about beekeeping. The patient advocate is also from the group. And I have other Toastmasters interested in the project.

Successful, ambitious people are often attracted to Toastmasters so it is easy to find interesting people with something to offer their community. They’re also looking to practice their public speaking skills, so videos and podcasts can help them in a way that the weekly Toastmasters meeting cannot. They can see themselves on video or hear themselves on audio. The other great thing is that they are used to preparing speeches and keeping them within a time limit. We like to keep our videos under 10 minutes and with most Toastmasters speeches being around the 5-7 minute mark, some people can just take their speech and easily transform it into a LibraryYOU piece.

Toastmasters is also a great way to network with people outside the library and to improve the library’s visibility in the community. Being part of LibraryYOU means coming to the library at least once to record in the studio. But I’ve made such strong connections that our contributors have been happy to come back and take a training class or get their picture taken for local newspaper articles about the project. I’d like to think that these people, who may not have been regular library users before, can at least now sing our praises because they feel connected to us through LibraryYOU. LibraryYOU is, after all, about our community and the wonderful people that are a part of it.

LibraryYOU + library events

Our latest LibraryYOU video is “Uganda Safari“, a presentation of photographs taken by local travel consultant and photographer, Bill Williams, from his recent trip to Uganda. It’s very timely considering all the buzz about the Kony 2012.

It’s also timely because Bill Williams will be doing a longer version of this presentation at the library in May. In fact, it was when I had the chance to to preview his presentation that I invited him to turn it into a video for LibraryYOU. It will be a great way to promote his in-person presentation on our website, in our e-newsletter, and on our social networking sites. And while we get a wonderful one hour event, we also get to add Bill William’s knowledge sharing to our permanent connection.

Another upcoming library event is a presentation by Holocaust survivor, Doris Martin. We will be inviting her to do a podcast for LibraryYOU. Maybe the next time a student is looking for resources about the Holocaust in our catalog, they will run across Martin’s personal account.