Library TV

Exploring video as a training and promotional tool for libraries, on the web and in television.

Thursday, June 29, 2006


Before I even came into my current position there was already an ongoing monthly library program on local cable called 'Library Lowdown' ('LL'). It had been running for 2-3 years and was used as a vehicle to inform and promote the library's building project. This program was produced using the equipment of the local cable access station, BATV. It was not digital, involved very high-end recording equipment (still does), and was recorded to SVHS. This was then edited using deck-to-deck equipment (2 high-end recording units, one recording from the other). This continued on for 3-4 more years during which I was brought in and trained in order to help edit and produce the program.

During this time BATV was making digital recording and editing available. The same camera equipment was used but it was now recorded to miniDV tapes and edited on an Apple computer using Final Cut Pro. Over the past 1-2 years I've been learning the basics of video editing and 'LL' is now produced digitally. Which opens up a lot of possibilities.

Some of those possibilities have already been explored and I'll be posting about what has already been done. The big questions I've had for a while now is: Can any of this be done without the expensive equipment? If I was starting from scratch what would I have to do? Would it be worth it?

I've come up with a partial answer or two but nothing definitive. It has been a lot more exciting than I'm probably making it sound. With digital cameras and phones that make movies and websites like and that will host them, there has been an eruption of video content. Harnassing these resources for libraries offers the potential for better patron interaction and more effective use of library resources.


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