Do You YouTube?

If you follow us on Facebook, you’ve probably seen our VERY popular unboxing videos each Tuesday. We’ve uploaded all of them now to our YouTube page, so if you subscribe (and click the bell to get notifications), you’ll get a notice each time we upload something new. We realize not everyone uses Facebook, and we wanted to share this fun weekly event with everyone! It’s a great way to see what’s new at the library…and see if Caroline and Meriah repeat any of their outfits.

Drop by to see what’s been going on!



Did They Really Say That?

If you’re a fan of author John Green like many of us at the library, you probably know he makes fabulous YouTube videos. You’ll learn something in each one of them, guaranteed.  His delivery is that of a man who has had four too many cups of coffee, but if you can listen on superspeed, you’ll love them.

For that sparkling dinner party conversation, take a listen to this one where he explains the 50 Most Common Misquotations. You’ll be able to dazzle people with your knowledge!


Not So Frivolous

This week’s Frivolous Friday post is the most fantastic list ever! Who doesn’t like YouTube videos? This is a list of 100 Incredibly Useful YouTube Channels. And they’re not lying!

Here are just a few:

Vancouver Poetry Slam

The History Channel

Wired Magazine

There are plenty more great channels to look at. I could spend all weekend on these and not get bored. Happy You Tubing!

Learn with YouTube.

 Recently, I read a well thought out article by a musician who noticed someone in the audience taping an entire performance on his cell phone. This wasn’t a rock concert, where often, ushers in the stadiums will keep an eye out for people taping long segments (which are usually prohibited). It was a concert of classical music. Not exactly where you’d expect to see someone videotaping a piece.  Would they save it for their own enjoyment?  Maybe. But more likely, the recording will end up on YouTube.

Now, this is an issue for musicians. Performers are paid to perform. They are giving a live concert, one in which people pay for the privilege to attend. You aren’t paying for a ticket so that you can re-play this performance for your neighbour, or your friends, or a thousand strangers who might log into your YouTube account.  This particular performer likened the video sharing to asking the person who cuts your lawn to also cut the lawns of everyone in your neighbourhood…for free. It isn’t right, on many levels, and as he pointed out, some performances are better left to the memory. (Really, how would you like a presentation you do for work taped and broadcast repeatedly to strangers for years to come?)

It also brings up the fact that without YouTube or other video sharing sites, some of us might never be exposed to certain topics, people, music or events. Videos might be life changing for some, and bring in new fans, clients and admirers.  It sure makes you think about recording things in public, though, doesn’t it? That “harmless” YouTube video might just cost someone a big chunk of their livelihood.

But, thankfully, if you’re looking for some wonderful free YouTube content, why not view some of these World-Class college courses on topics that will interest almost anyone? These are actual courses, taught by professors at some of the best colleges and universities in the United States. I have a feeling I know someone who will be watching every single one of these.

YouTube rolls out auto-captioning

My computer at work does not have the speakers hooked up.  I can’t hear anything I see online, which is good for work purposes since I share an office with two other people, but bad when I really need to hear something. So now, YouTube is helping out those who are hearing impaired, those who might be trying to learn English and people like me….who don’t have sound on their computers.  They have now started offering auto-captioning!  This is similar to your closed-caption TV capabilities which allows people to turn on a scrolling screen that types out what is happening on the screen.  It isn’t always perfect, but in time, the idea will more than likely be refined. The great thing about this is a person posting a YouTube video has the option of cleaning up the text, so that what people see is actually what they would hear.

Now, when I need to post a video displaying a craft example or a reference for a post, I won’t have to go home and watch it again for content.  Just a nice little perk that makes my life a bit easier, and easier for those who might not have the option at all.  Thanks, YouTube!

Here’s a great video by students from the California School for the Deaf explaining the new captioning idea.

Now playing at Carnegie Hall……

Last week, I was cataloging a new book for the juvenile section about learning to play the guitar and I was thinking that we don’t carry many books for kids about learning an instrument.  We do have a wide assortment of books in the adult section about playing the guitar, piano, and various other instruments, but fewer for children.  I guess that is because children who start an instrument are not doing so on their own, but rather are shipped off to music lessons by their parents.  Adults, on the other hand, often pick up an instrument later in life and try to learn on their own, which is why they need instructional books.  Music has been such a large part of my life that I am always on the lookout for a great music story.

Google and YouTube recently began a contest of sorts whereby amateur musicians submitted videos of themselves playing their instruments for people to view.  Thousands of people across the world were vying for their one chance to play at Carnegie Hall with what is being called “The YouTube Symphony”. Ninety-six people from 30 countries were chosen, sent music to learn and on April 15th, will gather in New York City at the world’s most famous musical venue to perform.

Google, who owns YouTube, generously paid for the tickets for each performer to join the rest of the symphony, which was decided upon much like American Idol.  Over 3000 submissions were narrowed down by music professionals to 200 finalists.  Then, YouTube watchers voted on their favourites and the 96 winners were decided.

CNN has a great video describing what went into the process, along with a few interviews with some of the winners that you can watch right here.  But if you’d really like to get into the minds and hearts of the people that submitted their videos, you’ll have to spend a few minutes watching this great video:

You can purchase tickets to this bound-to-be-great event from the Carnegie Hall website if you’ll be in New York on Wednesday night.  They’ll be performing a very eclectic program from Mozart, to Villa-Lobos to 20th century composer John Cage and a piece by Tan Dun known as his Internet Symphony #1, the “Eroica” movement.  You can hear this movement in its entirety performed last year by the London Symphony Orchestra.

Will there be more events such as this where people from around the world can do something amazing together, all being brought together through YouTube?  Probably.  Watch your computer screen for more….