How your library can participate in the Banned Books Week Virtual Read-Out!

 

Create a poster for your virtual read-out using this PDF.

Background
Criteria
Video equipment
Video release form
Sample script
Uploading the video
Submitting videos
Questions

Background   

For a second year in a row, the sponsors of Banned Books Week are encouraging readers from across the country and around the world to participate in the Banned Books Virtual Read-Out and will feature an Internet read out of banned and challenged books. These videos will be featured on the special Banned Books Week Virtual Read-Out YouTube channel. We strongly encourage libraries to participate in the read-out by facilitating the event in their library. Criteria information and instructions on the process of creating and uploading the videos are listed below.

Criteria

You have three video options for the 2012 Banned Books Virtual Read-Out:

1) You can submit a video no more than 3 minutes long of a reading from a banned or challenged book. The video must include information on where and why the book was banned or challenged. You may also add a comment about why you believe the book is important. Please keep your remarks brief.

Here is a list of banned literary classics as well as a list of frequently challenged books throughout the years. You should also check out Mapping Censorship and Robert P. Doyle's Banned Books: Challenging Our Freedom to Read for more ideas. Banned Books: Challenging our Freedom to Read is available for purchase at the ALA Storeor can be found at your local public library.

2) A video of an eyewitness account of local challenges can be submitted. This video should be no longer than three minutes long.

3) Create a promotional video for Banned Books Week like the videos featured here. The video should be no longer than five minutes long. The video’s message should focus on celebrating the freedom to read during Banned Books Week.

Video equipment   

We recommend the use of an MP4 video camera that can record using a resolution of 720p or 1080p. Many inexpensive cameras like the Flip, Sony Bloggie and Coby CAM 3001 and many smartphones or tablets will work. Choose a frame size of 16:9. The audio file format can be 48K, MP3 or ACC. It is suggested that you use a tripod to steady the camera. These are sold for as little as $15.

Video release form   

For libraries, schools, bookstores, and other organizations: Before you begin shooting the videos, you should ask the reader to sign a release giving you the right to use the video. If the reader is a minor, a parent will have to sign.  Download a PDF of a sample video release form.

Sample script   

We recommend that videos should begin with a brief introduction: "Hi, my name is _____________; I'm at [library] in [city, state] and I am reading a passage from [title] by [author]. This book was banned/challenged in [city, state] for [provide reason(s)]."

Create the video   

Shooting a video is as easy as hitting the record button, but here are some tips on creating a successful video for YouTube:

Lighting: Shadows don’t flatter anyone’s face. Be sure to have the light source on the face rather than behind it.

Sound: Flip-style cameras tend to pick up a lot of background noise.  Crowd noise is not ideal, although it generally won’t ruin the footage as long as the subject speaks loudly enough to be heard.  Loud noises, such as the sound of chairs being stacked or ambulance sirens from outside, will be very distracting and generally warrant finding a different location or starting again when the noise is finished.

Shooting: The first couple of seconds after you press record are often unusable, so leave a bit of space before starting. It’s usually better to get closer to your subject than it is to zoom. 

Editing: Shorter is better. For those reading book selections, time your reading before you start recording.  For recounts of challenges, figure out your story and tell it as efficiently as possible.

Uploading the Video   

After you record the video, you will need to transfer it to your computer unless the video equipment you are using is capable of uploading to YouTube directly. If you need to transfer it to your computer first, you should create a folder on your computer, e.g. “BBW videos.” Then connect your camera to the computer. Cameras are equipped with USB connections that you attach with a cable to any of your computer’s USB ports. Your computer will then ask you whether to download the videos. Select the folder that you have created and download the videos. Once the videos are on your computer, it is important to replace the name assigned to each video by the camera with a name that will be useful in finding the video once it has been uploaded to YouTube. We recommend including the title of the book with the recording date, e.g. “Catcherintherye_08311.mp4.”

You will need a YouTube or Google account in order to participate. Once you have one, please sign into YouTube and follow their instructions on how to upload a video.

Title

The title of your video should include "Virtual Read-Out." A good example is "Banned Books Week Virtual Read-Out: A reading from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone.

Description

You may use the description to explain why the book you chose to read an excerpt from is your favorite banned/challenged book or offer more details about an eyewitness account of local challenges.

Tag

Please tag your video with "virtualreadout" to ensure that the video will be featured on the Banned Books Week You Tube Channel. You also should tag your video with the name and location of your library.

Submitting videos   

After you have uploaded all your videos to your YouTube account, please create a playlist of all the Banned Books Virtual Read-Out videos and submit the URL of the playlist on this form. I\It may take up to 72 hours to post.

Questions   

If you have any questions, please contact Nanette Perez at (800) 545-2433, ext. 4225, or via e-mail at nperez@ala.org.

Thank you for supporting Banned Books Week!