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ARL Film Festival 2017—The “ARLies”

The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) Member Engagement and Outreach Committee will host the second annual ARL Film Festival (the ARLies) on Tuesday, May 2, 2017, at the 2017 Spring Association of Research Libraries Meeting in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The film festival highlights and shares multimedia products developed by member institutions to increase knowledge and use of libraries, their spaces, services, collections, and expertise.

ARL members were invited to submit films of less than three minutes in the following categories: How-To/Instruction, Development/Fund-Raising, Collections-Focused, Publicity/Marketing, and Free-Form. Out of 40 entries, the committee chose 20 submissions to be viewed by members and guests in the early evening of May 2. Association member representatives will vote following the film viewing and the 10 award winners will be announced during the Association Meeting on Thursday, May 4.

View all the 2017 ARLies submissions and descriptions of the 20 featured films.

2017 ARLies Winners

Best of How-To Instruction: Southern Illinois University Carbondale Library

This video was produced in support of an embedded librarianship project. The video was, and is, used to introduce students to the history of citation and the existence of Animal Reproduction citation style prior to a major citation assignment. It has been played to completion a total of 65 times since it went online, a high number considering that it is used exclusively in a classroom setting, and even then, only formally used twice per semester.

Best of Development/Fund-Raising Films: University of Guelph Library

The University took a different approach to establishing fundraising priorities, asking each academic unit to submit proposals for their areas. With a short-notice renovation project impacting a floor with a large number of carrels, the library thought it a good opportunity to use student voices to address the need. They envisioned a matching opportunity with alums and/or parents, in which the cost of a carrel would be split, with a ballpark estimate of $1,000 each. So the fundraising goal of $350,000 represents half of the funds needed to replace the current complement. This video was used to make a pitch to the University senior administrators, and was then shared broadly in other fundraising ventures.

Best of Collections-Focused Films: University of Miami Libraries

This film seeks to provide a meaningful description of the Cuban Heritage Collection (CHC) and its mission as a scholarly resource and as a space for exploring and engaging with cultural heritage. The film’s narrative reflects upon the relationship of collections to people and communities, memory, and cultural experience on an individual and community-wide level. To achieve this, the video captures voices from throughout the local and University communities. These individuals speak on the importance of the CHC, but also about heritage as a universal concept, something that stays with us, and that inspires and informs the present. The film’s visuals reflecting present-day Cuban American community/city life relate to how present moments are part of the broad web of cultural experience, which collections document and seek to preserve for the use of students and researchers. The fact that collections are for everyone is a significant point made with this film, but it is also that community builds collections that individual stories and experiences from all parts of a community can make an impact within and beyond the community for generations to come.

Best of Publicity/Marketing Films: Brigham Young University Library

Having decided on “Start Here” as a multi-year promotional campaign for the library, this video was created to be part of the campaign kick-off. It presents a student who has all the best intentions to excel on a school assignment but, through a misinterpretation, misses the mark completely. Faced with this reality, his instinct kicks in and he runs to the library to start his assignment the right way. Production took under 4 months from brainstorming the idea to posting to YouTube (while working on a few other projects at the same time). The team that created it is the BYU Library’s production unit, that consists, primarily, of student employees from a wide variety of majors.

Best of Free-Form Films: Johns Hopkins University Libraries

This video was produced with Mind in Motion, a local company started by two recent JHU grads. The short version, which was promoted via various social media channels, was aimed at the campus community and the larger Baltimore community. The video helped announce the opening of “The Enigmatic Edgar A. Poe in Baltimore & Beyond,” a major exhibition of Poe material at the George Peabody Library. The video also served as a teaser for the full-length version, which was released on Halloween (see here: https://youtu.be/xMiwQve0hM8). The video includes librarians, faculty members, and administrators from Johns Hopkins as well as members of the Baltimore community. (More than 30 individuals were filmed in a variety of locations around JHU and Baltimore, including at Poe’s grave and in the crypt, spots which can be seen in the short version.) The short version had more than 1,400 views on YouTube and was shared across Facebook and Twitter by various schools and divisions at Johns Hopkins.

Best Production: University of Southern California

USC’s annual holiday video is a unique way to acknowledge the work of their employees at the end of an always busy year. The USC Libraries produce a large slate of exhibits and events large and small, along with more traditional work involving special collections, acquisitions, instruction, and all of the public facing and behind the scenes work that makes them an integral part of USC academic life. With this holiday video, people who make the place work so well are celebrated in a fun and quirky video by talented animator and filmmaker, Dom Soo, who did the first version while still a student, this 2016 submission marks his third holiday video. The message is a way for Dean Catherine Quinlan to say thank you and for the personnel to see the year’s work in a way they can share with others. While the video is a message from the Dean to the faculty and staff and board, it is also sent as a promotional piece to vendors, colleagues, and collaborators at other institutions.

Best Humor: Brigham Young University

Having decided on “Start Here” as a multi-year promotional campaign for the library, this video was created to be part of the campaign kick-off. It presents a student who has all the best intentions to excel on a school assignment but, through a misinterpretation, misses the mark completely. Faced with this reality, his instinct kicks in and he runs to the library to start his assignment the right way. Production took under 4 months from brainstorming the idea to posting to YouTube (while working on a few other projects at the same time). The team that created it is the BYU Library’s production unit, that consists, primarily, of student employees from a wide variety of majors.

Best Performance: Johns Hopkins University Libraries

This video was produced with Mind in Motion, a local company started by two recent JHU grads. The short version, which was promoted via various social media channels, was aimed at the campus community and the larger Baltimore community. The video helped announce the opening of “The Enigmatic Edgar A. Poe in Baltimore & Beyond,” a major exhibition of Poe material at the George Peabody Library. The video also served as a teaser for the full-length version, which was released on Halloween (see here: https://youtu.be/xMiwQve0hM8). The video includes librarians, faculty members, and administrators from Johns Hopkins as well as members of the Baltimore community. (More than 30 individuals were filmed in a variety of locations around JHU and Baltimore, including at Poe’s grave and in the crypt, spots which can be seen in the short version.) The short version had more than 1,400 views on YouTube and was shared across Facebook and Twitter by various schools and divisions at Johns Hopkins.

Best Reflection of Diversity: Texas A&M University Libraries

A marketing/diversity campaign was executed promoting one simple idea, that the Libraries is and will always be a place where everyone is welcome: whatever religion, race, size or shape, sexual orientation and, most importantly, however they describe themselves. The campaign began as 18-foot-tall window clings that were placed on the windows that line the sides of several Libraries and at the entrances. Posters and a set of banners on the library that face the academic mall were also displayed. The extension of the campaign has been videos. This video is a teaser designed to lead viewers to look at other videos on the Texas A&M social media channels, which each focus on one individual. The individual videos have been successful, with many of them being viewed over thousands of times and each person talking about how they define themselves based on their race, their status as father, mother or a child, religious beliefs, etc. One of the most popular videos showed a student who used the word “different” to describe himself because he has autism. The campaign has been written about in the local paper as well as the school newspaper and has received accolades from the University Administration and students themselves.

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