Thursday, May 6, 2010

Video killed the reference desk (a preview....)

Tomorrow I'm not only attending my second professional conference, I'm actually going to be presenting! Well, kind of....

Tomorrow is the 2010 Oregon Virtual Reference Summit hosted by L-Net (Oregon's premier online reference service). I think it's going to be pretty awesome. I'm looking forward to a smaller, more intimate conference. And virtual reference, I think, is going to make up a huge portion of the future of libraries. Whenever someone needs information, where do they go? The internet. To ensure that quality information in being accessed, librarians need to meet patrons where they hang out most: online.

Anyways, on to the goods...

Nyssa, a fellow library student (who I would love to have pen a guest post for Dewey's Not Dead) and I have put together a sweet little lightening talk to present before the library participants.

What's that, you ask? What's a lightening talk? The conference organizers have put together a two different "lightening talk" sessions, where 9-10 presenters have five minutes to talk about anything they want. That way, in one hour, you are presented with 9-10 different topics, ideas, rants and raves. By doing a lightening talk, it's a great way for a library student (like us) to gain some experience presenting, building our resumes, and getting our names out there. It's like killing three birds with one stone.

If you were in the room with me, now would be the perfect time for a high five.

Nyssa and I have decided to talk about online video tutorials. We argue that online video content is fast becoming a corner stone of western culture - especially for the generation coming to age now, in the 21st century.

Want proof of this? Click here. and here. and then click here. What do these clips all have in common? They are silly homemade videos that have had over 50 million views. 50 MILLION VIEWS!!! That's like America's Funniest Home Videos on 50 million steroid injections.

Not that librarians need to be making viral videos that reach 50 million viewers (although imagine a world where they did). But, if libraries are are able to successfully create original and creative online tutorials (which in the age of you tube and cell phone cameras isn't that hard) than they are going to remain relevant to future generations. As I said earlier in the post, they are going to be meeting their patrons where they hang out the most - online. They will give their patron's a glimpse of what real librarians look like, and show them some of what they can do. And in this day and age of limited resources, online video tutorials help librarians reach a much larger population of users.

And we'll argue this all in five minutes.

For those of you who can't make it to the conference to witness our phenomenal performance, don't despair. The lightening talks will be digitally recorded. As soon as they are put online, they'll posted on this blog for your viewing delight.


  1. How 'bout a virtual high five, Turner? Can't wait to see it all online.

  2. I'll take any high five I can get! It might be a while for the videos, but I have some pictures from the venue, and my impressions from the conference I'm about to post...

  3. There is a Colorado statute against my type of high fives, but I’m sending one anyway. I’ll keep it short this time. Two questions: Do you ever get scared about the online and digital move of things (as opposed to how excited you sound in your ‘blog)? And did you ever post the videos? I may just have to keep reading.