by Monica Brennan, MLIS
Head of Youth Services at Westerly Library and Wilcox Park
If you are anything like me, your 2020 Thanksgiving Day started with the Red Titan Macy’s Day balloon capturing your heart. Perhaps, unlike many of you, though, I am a devoted, old-school Red Titan super fan! I am also a super fan of Ryan, the nine-year-old, multi-millionaire YouTube toy influencer who inspired the creation of Red Titan. Of course, you probably know what I am going to write next: Ryan and his superhero doppelganger, Red Titan, have over 40 billion views on YouTube! WOW!
The Westerly Library and Wilcox Park YouTube channel has yet to hit 40 billion views, but here are three reasons why YouTube matters to Westerly Library and Wilcox Park:
- Our patrons have viewed our 100+ YouTube programs over 4,000 times. Based on our community surveys during the pandemic, our patrons wanted engaging content and programs that they could view on their time. YouTube met this goal.
- Our community partners, including emergency responders, government officials, educators, faith leaders, trustees, friends of the library, library staff, and library volunteers, have all collaborated on creating compelling, fun, and informational programming content for our community. YouTube empowered our community’s voice.
- Our YouTube content has inspired our community to be more mindful, to create beautiful crafts, to learn new professional skills, to imagine new ways to communicate, and to engage with literature and nature in new and unconventional ways. YouTube has spread positivity and hope in a dark, lonely, and challenging time.
Every single one of our YouTube videos tells its own wonderful and creative story. However proud I am of these YouTube videos, I am exponentially more proud of my staff and coworkers’ thoughtful, collaborative work that has made these videos possible! The staff at Westerly Library and Wilcox Park have come together to create YouTube content to meet our community’s unique wants and needs. The YouTube platform has enabled us to fulfill our association’s mission and vision statements, listed below, throughout this exhausting pandemic.
Mission: The mission of the Memorial and Library Association is to strengthen community and enrich lives by stimulating intellect and sparking imagination through access to literature, information, technology, nature, and the arts.
Vision: Westerly Library and Wilcox Park strives to be a premier intellectual, cultural, and botanical asset for the region.
Perhaps the Westerly Library and Wilcox Park YouTube will never reach Ryan and Red Titan’s 40 billion views, but it has already delighted, inspired, and engaged thousands within our community! So, during this time of thanksgiving, we are grateful to have YouTube to marry our staff’s creative talents with the power of the internet.
Spotlighted below are some of our favorite Westerly Library and Wilcox Park YouTube videos: