YouTube and the Library World

By Daniel A. Freeman |

Earlier this week, some of our colleagues at Booklist became Internet celebrities when the video “Booklist Editors Read for Fun 2007” became a spotlight video on YouTube.



This video got me thinking about how YouTube has the potential to be a powerful vehicle for Reader’s Advisory and for library services in general. As it turns out, libraries all over the country are way ahead of me, and are already using YouTube to post book reviews, book discussions and even guides to Reader’s Advisory.

The Lagrange Public Library in suburban Chicago has teamed up with their local High School’s public access channel and filmed book talks that are broadcast on local television and available on YouTube.

Meanwhile, the Arapahoe Library District in Colorado has set up ALD Live, where users can view book and movies reviews on YouTube directly from their website. Videos like this one give the library a great way to promote reading and the library itself using video without paying a cent in advertising fees.


YouTube is a tremendously useful 2.0 tool for libraries. It provides a means for promotion, a forum for discussion and is a cutting-edge way to expand the reach of the library. It seems likely that what we see here is just the beginning of an exciting new trend.