Library Leadership Marketing Video

24. Video Strategies for Libraries with David Lee King

Leadership in libraries means getting the word out about what we do. On this show, we talk with David Lee King, Digital Services Director at Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library, about how videos can be a useful way to do that. He teaches us how making library videos can be easy with simple steps to create visual marketing.

Full Transcript

Nate Vineyard: [00:00:00]

This podcast is brought to you by the School of Library and Information Management from Emporia State University where library leaders are created, with program sites in Kansas, Utah, Oregon, Colorado, and South Dakota. And, by the Park City Library making film and podcasting possible with green screen and sound recording resources.

Adrian Herrick Juarez: [00:00:25]

This is Adrian Herrick Juarez. You’re listening to Library Leadership Podcast where we talk about libraries and leadership and speak with guests who share their ideas, innovations, and strategic insights in the profession.

Adrian Herrick Juarez: [00:00:38]

Leadership in libraries means getting the word out about what we do. How can videos be a useful way for us to do that? Today, this question is answered by David Lee King, the Digital Services Director at Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library, where he plans, implements, and experiments with emerging technology trends. Today he’s going to teach us how to make library videos with simple steps to visual marketing. Enjoy the show.

Adrian Herrick Juarez: [00:01:10]

Welcome to the show, David.

David Lee King: [00:01:12]

Oh, thanks.

Adrian Herrick Juarez: [00:01:13]

It’s great to have you here and I’m so excited to talk about this because I think video-making can seem a little daunting for librarians if it’s not our expertise. But, with a few steps, it can become easier.

David Lee King: [00:01:26]

I would definitely agree with that. It’s a really good tool to use to get your message out to your community, whatever that message might be right.

Adrian Herrick Juarez: [00:01:40]

And, leadership and libraries definitely means getting the word out about what we do. So, how can videos be a useful way for us to do this?

David Lee King: [00:01:49]

Videos are a wonderful tool because if you do it well it’s like you’re talking to me when I’m watching the video. Which is very powerful because it’s the library staff person talking to me, it’s also the whole library organization talking to me, at the same time. So, simply sharing what you do as a library or a librarian for your community, that gives a really strong message to your community, just because you’re saying we do these five things, or these 200 things, or whatever. You’re sharing that with somebody. Something that they might not know about you, as an organization. And, it’s also documented, and shareable on social media and websites etc. It’s those two points. It’s the library saying, we do in fact do this. And also, it’s documented.

Adrian Herrick Juarez: [00:02:52]

Right. And, I sometimes feel like they get to know the people in the library, too, if staff is featured, which is kind of fun.

David Lee King: [00:03:00]

Yeah, yeah. They do. Being able to put that name, and that face together can be very powerful.

Adrian Herrick Juarez: [00:03:08]

Absolutely. So, how do we figure out our content? What is good to feature in these videos?

David Lee King: [00:03:14]

There’s a few different ways to think of that. Basically, if you think about your website, if you can make a page or a blog post out of it. Or physically, if you can make a bookmark or an events calendar out of something, you can make a video out of it. That leaves the content game wide open, in a way. But, where you should start would be – a lot of libraries put up a sign, or do an events calendar, that sort of ‘what’s happening this week’ kind of thing.

Adrian Herrick Juarez: [00:03:50]


David Lee King: [00:03:51]

That’s a great place to start because it can be a simple one or two-minute video. What’s happening this week at the library? Simple to do. It’s sort of that talking head but it’s very useful too. Then if you want to go further with video from there you’re sharing what you have. Maybe how you do it. So, thinking about the services the library provides, the different types of things you can do at the library, that kind of stuff. It all makes great videos as well. So, there’s really a ton of content that could be turned into videos for a library.

Adrian Herrick Juarez: [00:04:31]

I like the idea of looking at the website to see what information you’re already pushing out and seeing how you can enhance that through video. I think that’s a great way to start. So, we’re all busy. How do we do this schedule-wise and how often would you recommend that we need to put out a video?

David Lee King: [00:04:47]

That’s a hard question to answer because every library is different. There are small libraries that have one person or three people that work there and there’s larger libraries that have thousands of people working there. So, it’ll be different for every library. But, there are some things you can do to make it more consistent. So, my library, we’re just starting to do this with video actually. But, we have a content calendar; our marketing department does, for blog posts and events for signage, and that kind of thing. And, we’ve fairly recently roped social media and blog posts into that. So, we know next Wednesday we’re posting about this on Facebook or on our website, that kind of thing.

David Lee King: [00:05:37]

Also, add a place for video. So, that weekly ‘what’s going on at the library’ video, you can say well. We do this every Monday morning and we release it every Tuesday or whatever. So schedule it. Then, how often to do that? It depends. But, if you are consistent, first that really helps. Even if it was once a month like, every third Thursday of every month we do a video, at least that consistency is there so people who are waiting for it know that it’s coming.

Adrian Herrick Juarez: [00:06:15]

That makes a lot of sense. So, scalable to your library but also giving some idea of when you’re going to have something to look forward to.

David Lee King: [00:06:24]

Yeah. And, once you get used to making video, once a week, twice a month, something like that. That kind of schedule, that kind of workload, is pretty easy to do.

Adrian Herrick Juarez: [00:06:38]

For those of us who haven’t done this before, how do we get started and is there a lot of equipment that we will need?

David Lee King: [00:06:46]

So, for starters thankfully this day and age it’s really easy because most of our staff already has a smartphone. Or, the library has access to an iPad or something like that. And, that’s all you need to get started. It will do the job just fine, at least for starters. That part of the equipment side of things is really almost the easier part of making video these days. Because there’s that whole, finding a staff member who’s willing and able to stand up and talk in front of the camera.

Adrian Herrick Juarez: [00:07:24]  


David Lee King: [00:07:24]

That’s scary sometimes. We librarians, tend to be known as sort of an introverted bunch. So, that’s uncomfortable. And then, the whole learning video editing software, which is one of your questions later on, but that also takes a little chunk of time just to figure a new piece of software out. The equipment side of things is easy. So, if you didn’t want to use a staff member’s smartphone, just buying a newer point-and-shoot camera that takes video is also very easy these days.

David Lee King: [00:08:08]

There’s some out there that do a great job. YouTubers who have millions of followers use some of those same tools, sometimes. So, that part’s easy anymore. You basically just pull out your phone or your camera, hit record, and start talking, for starters. Maybe on the talking end of things, you don’t script anything out but maybe, have an outline of if you’re doing, What’s happening this week, you’d have a very short introduction. Hi, I’m David at the library. Here’s what’s happening this week. And then, you have your five things listed out, and you can just go through those really easily and fast and then you’re done. And, you say come back next week for more, or something like that. So, pretty easy to do. And, that’s all the equipment you need for starters.

David Lee King: [00:09:02]

Now, if you start doing pretty consistent video eventually you might notice like, gee, the audio sounds sort of funky. Or, gee, the lighting looks sort of weird. Then as you start to improve you might start realizing oh, maybe we need a different camera where we can plug in a better microphone. Or, maybe we need to buy an external light to make things look better. But again, for starters, I don’t think you need all that stuff.

Adrian Herrick Juarez: [00:09:35]

That’s great to know. We all have some equipment that can make this possible right here, right now. That’s amazing. And, I think it’s a great idea to be brave. As you mentioned, sometimes we’re a little bit of introverts in libraries. But, people want to hear from us. They want to get to know us and know what we’re doing. It’s a great opportunity. And, also one more thing I thought what you said was good – so if you’re wondering on how to do a few of these things there are some great YouTube video resources, other online resources. Watch those and get some step-by-steps on how to use the equipment to make it work.

David Lee King: [00:10:11]

There are YouTubers devoted to helping you make better videos. And, certainly, a lot of videos out there these days, just saying how do I start. All this stuff we just talked about, They spell it out in detail.

Adrian Herrick Juarez: [00:10:26]

Great. So, once you’ve jumped in you can create some recordings and you can get some of those things started, but editing. Is there anything you would want to tell us about in that regard?

David Lee King: [00:10:40]

Yeah. A couple of things I think are really important for the kind of video we’re making. Video editing is really pretty simple. It’s editing, cutting out the beginning and the ending of the video, that extra space. And then, cutting out the weird stuff, like maybe you stumble over your words and you started over again. In video, you can cut that part out, so it sounds like you’re pretty smooth and consistent. You’ll see that all the time if you find a fairly consistent YouTuber. You can just watch. They’re called jump cuts. They just take out the pauses. Even if they’ve paused for 30 seconds and then started talking again. They just cut that chunk out. You see that slightly jerky zoom, it goes to the next thing. But, listening it keeps that consistent storyline going. Very easy to do, it’s a really simple type of edit. So, that’s one thing, just a simple kind of edit.

David Lee King: [00:11:54]

And then, just remembering a few video making mechanics. The most important one being – pausing for a few seconds before you start talking at the beginning of your video. Don’t push record and then immediately start talking, because you’re not giving yourself enough space for cutting that beginning part out. So, click record, pause for five seconds and then start up. The same, at the end of your video, when you get to the thing you’re going to say last – pause for five, or ten, or 20, maybe even 20 seconds. Because then you have something to edit out.

David Lee King: [00:12:43]

The other tip that goes along with that isn’t so much about editing, but it’s about how to do the video itself. So, you know how newspapers have that more journalistic, inverted pyramid writing style, where they put the most important stuff up front? It’s exactly how you want to make your video. So, you want to start right in with the content. If you pull up some library videos especially the ones where a library, my library has done thing too, where you go out and pay a video making company to go make the video. They have the fade in with the pretty music, and the director standing over in the corner walking through. That’s wasted 20 seconds of time in the video. And, on YouTube, that means most of your viewers have gone. They’ve clicked those related videos and gone on to watch something else. So, what you want to do is just start right in with your content. Hi, I’m David, here’s what’s happening this week at the library. That’s all you need. No branding, no nothing. If you want to, somewhere in there you can plop the logo up in the corner. Pretty simple. But, you don’t have to do a whole huge introductory kind of thing. Just start.

Adrian Herrick Juarez: [00:14:02]

Those are great things to think about. And, it’s nice to know with editing we can make ourselves sound just fantastic.

David Lee King: [00:14:07]

Yeah, it’s great.

Adrian Herrick Juarez: [00:14:10]

We’ll just be brilliant, I know, we’re all going to be brilliant. Right. It’s a superpower. It’s great. So, here we are. We’ve jumped in. We’re trying this amazing new thing that’s going to give us great reach for our library. We’re recording videos. We’re editing videos. Now, we have to push that out. Where is the best place to do that so we get some reach for our efforts?

David Lee King: [00:14:35]

A few different ways to think about this, again I would first put that back to the individual library. Because, there are places, at least some libraries know they have a good amount of reach already. If I were talking about my library, I would say we need to post them on YouTube and Facebook. Facebook because we have a lot of followers there. There’s a lot of really active customers talking back to us, and following along what we do on Facebook. So, you’d want to post it there instead of posting it on YouTube and embedding it on Facebook. You’d want to post the video separately on Facebook. Facebook likes that. But then, also post it to YouTube. Not so much because we have a ton of viewers on YouTube, but YouTube is really easy to then embed that video in your website, and a blog post and Twitter, putting a link to your video, and a print newsletter, or if you send out an e-newsletter, putting a link there. So, YouTube is sort of the whole web tool. Facebook doesn’t like that so much and they have their own thing and that works great as well. So, probably those two places.

David Lee King: [00:15:55]

But then that said, maybe your library does a lot of stuff on LinkedIn, or maybe you have a really active community in Instagram. If you did have an active community somewhere else on the web you’d want to think about well, how can I share that video or are part of it somewhere else.

David Lee King: [00:16:15]

Like for Instagram, you might put in a snippet of the video and then in the profile link. On your Instagram account, that’s where you can put the link to the video. That’s what some people do fairly successfully.

Adrian Herrick Juarez: [00:16:31]

That sounds great. And, as you mentioned maybe, some dedicated space on the website.

David Lee King: [00:16:36]

Right. Right. If your library’s website has a blog, that’s a great place for that kind of content – a blog or just library news. That’s a great place to post videos.

Adrian Herrick Juarez: [00:16:49]

Fantastic. This gives us a lot to think about. And, as we know, when we push out into that social media arena, there’s often feedback that comes in based on the content. So, how do you manage feedback? So, you push out a video on Facebook, let’s say. What would you say when you start getting comments? How do you manage that?

David Lee King: [00:17:10]

So, first of all, if only we could all get comments on our videos, that’s awesome. You need to make sure somebody is in that space answering that and monitoring the feedback. I work in a bigger library so we have a social media team, so somebody is assigned today to watch Facebook and to post some things, to interact with the commenters, that kind of thing. That’s how we do that for Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. It can work the same way for YouTube or your website, that kind of thing. Just make sure somebody’s job is to monitor those comments. Most web tools like websites, or YouTube, or Facebook have a way for that comment to not only be posted on your blog, or posted on YouTube, but you can also get an email about it telling you there’s a commenter sending you the comment.

David Lee King: [00:18:19]

So, set up those kind of things, pretty easily these days. Then also, respond, even if it was negative feedback you can at least say thanks for watching. Because they took the time to click play, and listen to enough of it that, they didn’t like it, or whatever. But, they watched your video. They took that time. So, you can thank them for that. Then if within their criticism there’s anything you need to apologize for say, oh, yeah, you’re right that is wrong. Like you would normally do. You’re right, we fixed it, thanks for letting us know. More likely, you’ll get oh, this looks fun. Those are great things to respond to.

Adrian Herrick Juarez: [00:19:06]

Just being responsive lets people know that you’re tuned in and that you appreciate them engaging with your content.

David Lee King: [00:19:12]

I think the thing to remember with comments online these days, it’s sort of like a conversation. So, it takes two people to have that conversation.

Adrian Herrick Juarez: [00:19:22]

Right. They are engaged with you. They’re talking to you through this video medium, which is really exciting, actually. Is there anything else you’d like to share about this?

David Lee King: [00:19:31]

So, when making videos, even for something that you’re sharing on your website, or YouTube, or Facebook, or something like that can also give you a similar skill that you can use in other areas in a bigger way. A week or so ago, I went on our local news to talk about online Facebook scams. My library was lucky enough that we have a weekly spot on a local afternoon news station, their afternoon news program. I go on there sometimes to talk about technology things. But, the point here is that talking in front of my own camera like my smartphone or something like that, and making videos gives me the same skills that I can more easily set and chat with a news dude in their studio because it’s all making video. So, these little skills can expand out in a big way for a community. It’s a good thing to be brave and start talking to your smartphone because it can lead to bigger things.

Adrian Herrick Juarez: [00:20:42]

Absolutely, and practice makes perfect. The more we do this the more comfortable we’ll become. Do you have any favorite books or resources you’d like to share, and why?

David Lee King: [00:20:52]

I was thinking about that and right now my most favorite video thing would be the thing I just wrote, my Library Technology Report, just because I’m silly that way. But, there are a ton of video resources out there, right now. So, I would say your library probably has some at this point. But if not, just go to Amazon and type, in how to make a video, or just go to YouTube and type the same thing in and start watching. You’ll find some really good resources that will help you get started, even to the point of, I want to make a video with my iPhone, what do I do? There are YouTube channels dedicated to that kind of thing. There are books that will have a good introduction about what you should do, what equipment you should use, how to edit it, where to post it, how to use that for a marketing tool. Things that I don’t even go into so much. So, I think there are all ton of resources out there.

Adrian Herrick Juarez: [00:21:57]

Fantastic. And, where do people find your Library Technology Report?

David Lee King: [00:22:00]

Well, it’s at the ALA website. But, if you go to my website,, I mentioned it on my website as well.

Adrian Herrick Juarez: [00:22:10]

Great, thank you for pointing us toward that, we’re all looking at those issues. Yeah. In closing, what does being a librarian mean to you personally?

David Lee King: [00:22:18]

That’s a good question. I think for me, I’ve always wanted to help people find the stuff, that’s sort of why I got into this in the first place. Because I’ve always liked to do that my whole life. But I’ve realized over the years that a librarian really helps people find what they need so they can improve their lives, whether that’s just watching the next Marvel movie, or getting a better job, or finding out something that they didn’t know before that will impact their lives. You can make a huge impact into somebody’s life in big and small ways just by doing what we do as a library. So, that’s really why I’m interested in video and online content and that kind of thing because it helps us get the word out about what we do and what you can do at a library.

Adrian Herrick Juarez: [00:23:12]

Thank you for being on the show today. It’s been great to talk to you. And, I can’t wait to see all the videos that are going to come out of this.

David Lee King: [00:23:19]

Me too.

Adrian Herrick Juarez: [00:23:21]

You’ve been listening to Library Leadership Podcast. I’m your host, Adrian Herrick Juarez. Our producer is Nate Vineyard. More episodes can be found at, where you can now subscribe to have new shows delivered right into your email inbox. You can also find the show on Apple iTunes, or wherever you get your podcasts. Thank you for listening. We’ll see you next time.

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