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Marketing Library Media Collections

WHILE some librarians face challenging times and some are vulnerable to the negative impact of budget cuts, many have helped educators and students use audiovisual resources in creative ways.


Online streaming services provided by third-party vendors enable people to have 24/7 access to media content and PBS still serves a large and diverse audience of viewers. As YouTube is becoming a staple fixture of the American classroom, librarians are using it to promote intellectual curiosity.  Effective curation depends on access to reviews and reviewers, and viewers themselves can be empowered to both read and compose film and media reviews. 

IN CHAPTER 5, you’ll be fascinated to learn why some academic librarians hate Netflix and the questions that emerge as we imagine the future of streaming film and video as it continues to develop in the years ahead.

Best Practices of Curation as Pedagogy


Students learn when they curate. Are your learners and patrons getting rich and diverse opportunities to develop their curation competencies?


  • create a list of “favorite” examples of music, movies, athletes, videogames, or TV shows

  • select a current events topic (like immigration/migration, income inequality, or climate change) and create a list of content designed to use the power of narrative storytelling to explain the issue

  • create a small collection of digital images to express an idea, mood, or feeling

  • find examples of digital content on a specific topic, using a variety of search strategies, keywords, search engines, and databases


  • create a rank-ordered collection of articles, images, videos, or websites based on a “credible to incredible” ranking system

  • select a sample of digital content for a particular purpose, target audience, or learning situation

Add Value

  • offer justification for their choices, reflecting on their decision making about what they included and what they omitted

  • offer comment and critique of the particular content selected


  • make their curated collections public and encourage others to add to it, comment, or critique.

Learn more about best practices of multimarketing in libraries: 


SOURCE: Hobbs, R., Deslauriers, L. & Steager, P. (2019). The Library Screen Scene: Film and Media Literacy in Schools, Colleges and Communities. New York: Oxford University Press.

Colleen Thiesen has created an unbeatable video series for the Special Collections at the University of Iowa Libraries. Her YouTube videos pique a viewer's intellectual curiosity by depicting the joy of discovery. 


Colleen Theisen sees YouTube as a powerful tool for lifelong learning and as a valuable resource for advancing public awareness of and appreciation for the cultural value of special collections.

Librarians as YouTubers

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