L-Team Director's Cut
Have a Reference Question? Ask the L-Team!
Tags: library williams reference librarians
Added: 1 year ago
[old black and white footage of librarians is shown as the unseen narrator begins speaking]
ROB GROTE: Ten years ago, a group of bibliophiles was sent to library school for being over-inquisitive. They promptly escaped to the Williamstown underground, where they survived as librarians of fortune. If you have a reference question, if no one else can help, and if you can find them, maybe you can hire ... the L-Team!
["The L-Team" appears on screen, then the camera focuses on the wheels of a bookcart before random scenes of various Williams College librarians are shown to the sound of "The A-Team" theme song]
Dave "Hannibal" Pilachowski
Jodi "PA" Psoter
[cut back to the book cart, as it hits a book on the floor and turns over]
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L-Team Wins Award
Published April 19th, 2007
Nick Baker of Williams College Libraries has received an InfoTubey Award for The L-Team, a library promotional video.
Baker received the award at the Computers In Libraries 2007 conference this week in Washington, D.C. The honor is given by Information Today for "excellence in library YouTube productions." Bill Spence, CTO of Information Today, presented the award.
The video depicts the public service librarians of Williams College as a band of bibliophiles who "escaped to the Williamstown underground" and survive as "librarians of fortune."
The video is an homage to the opening credits of "The A-Team," an action-adventure television series that ran from 1983 through 1986 on NBC.
Interview: Nick Baker - The L Team
An email interview with the creator of the L-Team.
BRIER: Where did you get the idea for this video?
BAKER: The L-Team was done for Library Week  with the help of my colleagues. I was a child of the 80s, so that's where the A-Team spoof idea came from.
BRIER: How long did the L-Team take to make?
BAKER: The L-Team was done on work time, about two hours of shooting my colleagues (trying to get them to smile) and then a few hours each on the titles, music, narration, etc. Probably about 16 hours total. In general, when people ask how much time it takes, I say that a minute of screen time is a full day's work (8 hours).
BRIER: How much did this video cost to make?
BAKER: Nothing but time. I shot them on my digital camera (a Canon Powershot 600 digital elf) and edited them with iMovie on a Mac Powerbook I borrowed from the Systems department. I used free Audacity software to mix the soundtrack.
BRIER: What has been the reaction to the video?
BAKER: Very positive! I've been recognized at conferences (Computers in Libraries 2007) and asked to speak about library videos (Internet Librarian 2007). On campus, I think it's raised the profile of the librarians and made us seem more relevant, but it's just an impression.
BRIER: To what extent has the video impacted library services or ideas about the library or both?
BAKER: The idea was to make the librarians seem more approachable and human - showcase our sense of humor. It's the sort of image thing that's hard to measure, but from the feedback we've gotten. I think it's working. I'm not sure it's changed library services all that much.
BRIER: What were the most challenging aspects about making the L-Team?
BAKER: Getting my colleagues to smile.
BRIER: What advice would you give aspiring library video directors if they are considering making a video about their library or services?
BAKER: Don't be afraid to fail. We've made several videos, and they haven't all been successes. I felt just as good about the hits as I did about the misses, so it's important to put all your ideas out there to see what sticks.
BRIER: Are you considering making any new videos? If so, what do you have on tap?
BAKER: We've got a couple planned on library etiquette and on fun things to do in the library (sardines) but with the start of the term it's on hold for a while. We also did a film- noir style video for the first year student orientation that was a hit.