Some people eat, sleep and chew gum, I do genealogy and write...

Friday, March 31, 2017

The BYU Family History Library posts a plethora of videos

In the past month, the Brigham Young University Family History Library has uploaded 22 new videos, averaging almost one a day counting the days the Library is open to the BYU Family History Library YouTube Channel. The uploaded videos fall into two distinct categories: webinars lasting about an hour and shorter instructional videos lasting about 10 to 15 minutes. The shorter instructional videos are used to teach the missionary staff of the Library. The longer webinars are live broadcasts which are recorded and uploaded. The webinar broadcast schedule is available online from the BYU Family History Library webpage.

There is a link to the webinars and classes in the upper right hand corner of the webpage. The BYU Family History Library YouTube Channel was opened about three years ago. Only about 20 videos were uploaded during the first year. During the second year of operation, the Library began incorporating videos of live presentations and classes. However, the technical difficulties of recording live classes resulted in a reappraisal of the process. Eventually, the videos were converted entirely to slide presentations recorded directly. As a result, the quality of the presentations improved.

About a year ago, the Library acquired the equipment and programs to begin broadcasting live webinars. The Library also funded hiring student help in presenting the webinars. One of the biggest challenges has been scheduling webinars around the University's academic schedule. Over the past year, quite a number of people have volunteered to produce both the webinars and the instructional videos.

YouTube is not particularly known for providing genealogical support, however, nearly every major genealogical website has a corresponding YouTube channel. What is unusual about the involvement of the Brigham Young University Family History Library YouTube channel is its sponsorship by a university library. There are quite a few YouTube offerings by University libraries but they focus primarily on library orientation and library databases with a sprinkling of library tours. However considering the number of colleges and universities in the world, the actual online presence of university libraries is relatively small.

In addition, genealogy is not exactly a hot topic on YouTube. Many YouTube videos garner more than a million views matter of hours and even many instructional videos have hundreds of thousands or even more than a million views. The demographics of genealogists is such that it is unlikely that genealogy will ever achieve star status on YouTube.

We have a full schedule of videos planned in the coming weeks and you can be assured that there will be many new videos uploaded.

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