May 3, 2013

Joining the club: Library video contest to promote student awareness and library connections

At an Instructional Services Team meeting we had here awhile back, we were talking about revamping our orientation materials (virtual tours, videos, site info, etc.) and since information gets updated so often, we were discussing the sort of futility of making new videos every single year. Since other libraries had such great success doing student video contests (I particularly love this video from the University of Minnesota Duluth), I felt that we could both have our materials current each year, and also involve students in the process through teaching others about the UA Libraries; this would benefit everyone.

So, this was the first semester we opened up a contest for students to create 2-5 minute videos about The Libraries. We encouraged humor and creativity, with incentive prizes for first and second place. First place gets $500 to the UA Bookstores and second place gets passes to The Loft's (independent theater here) Cult Classics Series.

We wound up with four finalists after videos were vetted for accuracy and following the guidelines by those of us organizing the contest, and then opened it up to student voting. We have some seriously magical IT specialists here who were able to whip up a voting page based on student net ID qualifications essentially in a matter of minutes, and we wound up having over about 700 students vote.

There are a number of things we learned this year that we plan to adjust for next time around, but all around it was a great experience for us, and it seems students were really positive about it as well. From our meeting with student leadership, they were also very excited about it and helped get the word out, along with the tutoring center, and a number of other areas on campus. We also have a marketing department here who helped us with graphics and developed a campus-wide marketing plan for the entirety of the semester.

Here is our video page with links to the winning videos (and contest details), but I'm going to embed first and second place here (so excited about these)!

First place


Second place

University of Arizona Library from Library Promo on Vimeo.