During October a small group of YALSA bloggers are posting ideas and information about positive uses of social networking tools in schools and libraries. Here’s positive use #14.

Have you ever searched for library on YouTube? If not you should give it a try. Two things to notice when you do:

  • Libraries show up on YouTube as active fun places where teens hang out comfortably. (What a great thing.)
  • Teens (and librarians) can create useful library instruction videos.

YouTube ends up being for libraries:

  • A great place for libraries to advertise programs and services
  • Where teens can feel empowered by publishing work they’ve done and seeing what their peers can do.
  • A resource that highlights constructive use of time through video creation.
  • An outlet for creative expression. There are library mystery, horror, music, and more videos on YouTube.
  • A place to learn, in entertaining and creative ways, how libraries work.

Of course, video on the web is nothing new. However, the fact that teens and librarians can create video and upload it easily to a central website (and the library doesn’t have to pay for the hosting of the video or the bandwidth) is fairly new.

Of course, teens creating videos as a means of self-expression is nothing new. However, the ability to publish that video for the world to see as a way to show the active and positive things teens can do is fairly new.

A library that works with teens on creating videos for YouTube provides teens with opportunities for engaging in both visual and text-based literacies. Teens and librarians that work together on YouTube videos get the chance to plan, manage, and implement a project that uses time management and organization skills. And, teens and librarians that work together on YouTube videos support the community by showing what a great place the library is as a positive support for and advocate for teens.

If DOPA were passed teens could of course continue to create videos. Librarians could of course continue to create videos. But, the library and teens working together on projects would no longer be possible. Librarians would lose the opportunity to help teens understand how to use a site like YouTube in ways that support positive teen development. That would be unfortunate.

About Linda W Braun

Linda W Braun is a YALSA Past President, the YALSA CE Consultant, and a learning consultant/project management coordinator at LEO: Librarians & Educators Online.

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