Weekly Nibble: June 19, 2020

This week I want to share with you a series of digital programs that a coworker and I have had a ridiculous amount of fun (and spent a ridiculous amount of time) creating this summer. This was the brainchild of Kip and she has done all of the video editing magic.

Typically during the summer, we have a big paid performer every Thursday. We weren’t able to accommodate them this year due to COVID-19, so Kip had the idea of doing a series of Choose-Your-Own-Adventure style episodes each week, following two kids who go from being stuck in quarantine to being stuck in a magical land. Each week, our patrons cast votes to decide where we will go next!

The turnaround time on these videos has been challenging. We tally up the votes as they come in and gather props over the weekend, prep the sets and film the majority of the episodes on Monday, wrap up any secondary filming and begin the editing process on Tuesday, finish editing and send to marketing along with a suggested reading list that fits each episode’s themes on Wednesday, and the videos are put out on social media channels on Thursday mornings, along with polls for the patrons to vote. I also email the video links to our outreach groups participating in summer reading, who tally their kids’ votes and email them back to us.

Since we have been closed to the public, we’ve been able to film anywhere in the building that suits our needs. (This past week we constructed a “cave” entrance between two of the adult fiction stacks.)

We are learning a lot from this process. We just acquired some professional lighting and tripods this week, which will help from here on out with the darkness in certain areas of the library. We’ve gotten wonderful response from our patrons who love deciding where our adventures take us next!

I’m sharing the link to our first episode and the next two can be found on the Johnson City Public Library’s YouTube channel. Final episode will air next Thursday morning on YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram if you’re interested in seeing how it all ends!

Edited to add: All Epic Athenaeum videos and supplemental material can now be found at this link.

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