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Librarians on YouTube

Examine the many different ways librarians are using YouTube to serve patrons and communities

Librarians are often challenged to connect with their communities (learners, fellow educators, and the public) with limited time, among competing priorities, and especially recently, across distance. Among many creative approaches to engagement, YouTube offers a fresh approach for librarians to build connections beyond the physical spaces of the library and outside of formal learning environments. In this 3-part series, we’ll explore unique opportunities for using YouTube to foster literacy, build community, and democratize access for a public audience.


Resources to Expand Your Learning

Looking for examples of how libraries and library workers are using YouTube? Here are 18 amazing YouTube channels to explore: 

Book Talks & #booktube

  • Bookish Realm: public librarian Ashley’s channel includes book reviews, book hauls, and a popular ‘Being a Librarian 101’ series.

  • Jen the Librarian: Jen’s channel focuses on LGBTQ books. 

  • Infinite Text: books, pirates, libraries, and more from academic librarian Andreea. 

  • Random Librarian: book recs, book mail, and tips on becoming a librarian. 

Tech Reviews & Tutorials

  • Cue the Librarian: Karina Q., a library media specialist, highlights digital tools and technologies for student learning. 

  • Lispy Librarian: tech tips and YA books from a middle school librarian. 

  • TechFifteen: Heather Moorefield-Lang, a professor in the UNC Greensboro Library & Information Science Department, offers tech tutorials and reviews.  

Exploring Archives & Special Collections

  • Objectivity: this channel about science treasures often features the head librarian from British Royal Society. 

  • UISpecColl: explore documents and stories with the University of Iowa Libraries Special Collections & Archives. 

Professional Life

  • Misskoko the Librarian: tips and strategies for building a professional online presence. 

  • Sheila Joy: a part-time archivist and brand photographer vlogs about productivity, books, and professional life.  

  • Stacks & Facts: Peter M. discusses library and information science.

Digital & Information Literacy 

  • Carolyn Bishoff: an academic librarian shares research and library access tips for university students. 

  • Everyday Inquiry: Julia (and academic librarian) and Trevor (a library creative services coordinator) explore digital literacy for everyday life. 

  • Michelle Luhtala: information literacy and tutorials from a high school librarian in New Canaan, CT 

Storytime, Public Programming & Fun

  • KC Library Youth: storytime and other youth programming from Kansas City Public Library. 

  • Homewood Public Library Parody Videos. Check out "Library Card," a parody of "Drivers License" by Olivia Rodrigo; "Read Me Maybe," a parody Parody of Call Me Maybe by Carly Rae Jepsen, and "Leer Despacito,' a Banned Book Week Parody of Despacito by Luis Fonsi w/ Justin Bieber, all created by Kelly Campos and her colleagues at Homewood Public Library (IL). 

  • New York Public Library: live streams, author talks, and library stories. 

  • San Francisco Public Library: storytime, live streams, and STEM challenges. 


Learn More

Colburn, S., & Haines, L. (2012). Measuring Libraries’ Use of YouTube as a Promotional Tool: An Exploratory Study and Proposed Best Practices. Journal of Web Librarianship, 6(1), 5–31.

Hobbs, R, Deslauriers, L. & Steager, P. (2019). The Library Screen Scene. New York: Oxford University Press. 

Hursh, A. (2020, November 30). The 2021 Guide to Social Media for Libraries: YouTube. Super Library Marketing: Practical Tips and Ideas for Library Promotion.

Moorefield-Lang, H. (2019). Chapter 4. Taking Your Library Instruction to YouTube. Library Technology Reports, 55(5), 17–20. 

Musser, P. (2018). Comment, Like, Subscribe, Check Out. Comment, Like, Subscribe, Check Out.