YouTube Videos (Was: BIBFRAME – draft data model for bibliographic data)

Posting to Autocat

On 11/30/2012 05:16 AM, Michael Kovnat wrote:

<snip>
I have two observations or views:

1. Youtube is just a social networking website on which participants share content in the form of videos. I don’t think of Youtube videos as official informaition worth paying catalogers to catalog. I post videos occasionally and I wouldn’t necessarily want you to just catalog them. Although some users do post good informaiton. Anybody can make and post videos, and users can easily remove their videos at any time.

2. I always prefer to catalog in whatever way is best in theory, or whichever available choice adds the most information, even when this all requires so much time and expense and effort to update records, retrain catalogers, change policies, and so on.</snip>

Certainly, there is no need to catalog all of youtube, just as there is no need to catalog all items printed or published. The vast majority of all human creations can safely be labelled “ephemera” and the internet has merely expanded on that in an exponential way. Still, it would be a mistake to conclude that therefore nothing on youtube is valuable, because there are some wonderful resources, although they are hard to find. Just on youtube and as just one example, if you search “public domain noir” and filter for “Long”, you get: http://www.youtube.com/results?search_type=videos&search_query=public+domain+noir&search_duration=long&uni=3 that includes several great film noir movies. I don’t know how many but I have watched several myself. These materials are of undoubted value to the public.

For instance, one of my favorite movies is D.O.A. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3fMDJ6pwSfo. For those who would like to see it, shouldn’t they know about this and not have to get it only from Overdrive as is currently done through Worldcat? bit.ly/Txxymd. I am sure that the simple search I made on youtube did not find all of the public domain film noir movies available because there is no method of consistent access and it still pulled up some junk.

There are scads of these materials on youtube.

Then when you add the public lectures, university courses, entire conferences, etc. etc. we must conclude that there is no lack of worthwhile content available through youtube. And that is just youtube–a single site on the web.

The problem is wading through all of the junk. Some knowledgeable people need to select the valuable videos, and then allow decent access to it so that everyone can find those videos in some kind of decent way, instead of relying on hit-or-miss luck.

Sounds like librarians are needed! And if there were more use of these kinds of links, some libraries may question the need to pay for materials that can be found for free through the web, thereby freeing up money to pay for the staff to do the work.

These are the sort of initiatives that would make a genuine impact on the public–not the theoretical abstractions of FRBR or the cataloging changes of RDA that no one will even notice, but librarians should provide methods for the public to find (as easily as possible) useful, valuable resources that otherwise they could never find on their own.

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One Comment

  1. T Edmunds said:

    This article was very informative. I am studying to be a school media specialist. I was wondering how to traverse the YouTube chasm. Our school requires a special login to even view videos and while not every video is appropriate, there are valuable free resources at our disposal. Cataloging these will be time consuming but a database will save educators valuable time.

    December 11, 2012

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