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Yesterday NPR had an excellent segment on Talk of the Nation, Behind the Viral Video: What’s Fake, What’s Real. The idea behind a viral video isn’t so much to deliver real content or information on a product or service. Rather, it is the shock value or the questionable material that makes it really work. In short, I couldn’t help but think of potential viral library videos.

The first one I thought of involved a disgruntled vagrant in the year 2020 mumbling to himself, ….shoulda went to the library…… mm..err..aa…library… .eee. Then a group of young kids walk by and wonder what the heck he is rambling about. Cue to a flashback of the young vagrant searching the Internet and clearly writing a paper. The vagrant uses Wikipedia and blogs as his information sources. He turns in the paper and gets it back with a big fat F and red marks, stating: “Use reliable and verifiable sources!” Cut to the end scene that says something clever like: “Got Library?” or “Ask a Librarian”.

Another idea I had was a bit controversial, but what the hey, that’s viral marketing! A young man is walking around a seedy part of town, is clearly lost, and his cell-phone battery is dying/ dead. He pulls out a directions print out from Googlemaps (or yahoomaps) and the directions are wrong. He walks down a dark alley because the directions tell him to. A gang is hanging out in the dark alley they jump and beat him. One gang member pulls out a gun, the camera aims into the barrell of the gun, end scene to the line: “Ask a Librarian”.

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