Central City Library named after M.L. Kropyvnytsky in Mykolaiv launched innovative service “Book Insomnia” which is dedicated to the recording of live prose readings.
“We came up with the idea last year. We were going to hold open-air readings in the summer, but the quarantine made adjustments to the work of the library. As online content became relevant, we decided not to give up the idea, but to try a new format”, said one of the initiators of the project Yulia Basista.
Librarians conducted a survey among visitors. They learnt the creation of book recording was most interesting among adolescents, especially those who actively use Youtube. On the other hand, there was interest among senior citizens, striving to master new media formats.
According to Julia, the service is also useful for the city and its inclusiveness, because audio content is often the most convenient way to perceive the text for visually-challenged people.
“We decided to focus on prose and users offered to add music. We launched the pilot recording in July. For two weeks, we collected videos of users, spent a day processing the received material and published it on the library’s Youtube channel”, says the librarian.
So far, the channel has posted 12 videos, from 9 participants, which have a total of 320 views.
The library notes they are going to continue to create monthly thematic selections with audio recordings together with users.
The service is free of charge.
Julia Basista says, “We aimed to create a platform for the promotion of Ukrainian-language products through self-realization of citizens as readers. We also wanted to promote books and create accessible content for the visually-challenged people.
Library visitors are first of all interested in the modern Ukrainian literature. Particularly they are interested in Mykolaiv authors. They are looking for like-minded people in the literary environment, people who can recommend new books. Thanks to the service, readers have the opportunity to share their own book preferences.
Audio recordings are also useful during the limited service period (now the library lends out literature on request), so the user can listen to an excerpt of the work on the library’s Youtube channel, and then order it.
As the service is provided online, it did not have a strong impact on number of library visitors (especially given the quarantine restrictions), but the number of views of the channel and subscribers on Facebook has increased. On the other hand, some users of the service became new library visitors
Thanks to the introduction of the service, the library staff was able to improve the library’s Youtube channel, fill it with quality thematic playlists, as well as learn new ways to communicate with library users.
We are currently focusing on online services and events. We study methods of effective content-creation for our pages on social media”.