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YouTube for American Corners in Indonesia

YouTube for American Corners in Indonesia

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Published by Susan Kelly
An emerging technology plan for the special collections known as American Corners found in universities throughout the world. By expanding and upgrading our use of YouTube we can reach our audience more effectively
An emerging technology plan for the special collections known as American Corners found in universities throughout the world. By expanding and upgrading our use of YouTube we can reach our audience more effectively

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Published by: Susan Kelly on Nov 10, 2013
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American Corners’
YouTube Channel
Reaching Out to Bring In
An emerging technology plan to introduce a YouTube Channel to the U.S. State
Department’s American Corner system in
LIS 287 Hyperlinked Libraries
Emerging Technology Plan Susan Kelly
 YouTube Channel for the American Corners in Indonesia
Reaching Out to Bring In
 The U.S. State Department’s Information Resource Center manages American Corners
located in universities throughout the world. As a part of our public diplomacy strategy, the government has 11 such centers in Indonesia. These special collections: provide access to current, accurate and reliable information about the political, economic, cultural, educational and social life in the United States via a collection of books, magazines and journals, CD-ROMs, DVDs and access to internet and online databases, and through local programming to the general public. Embassy of the United States, Jakarta, Indonesia, n.d.) Most centers are open workdays from approximately 8 am to 2:30
 pm. Since Indonesia is the fourth most populous nation, and the largest Muslim democracy, (C.I.A., July, 2013) the U.S. government would like to build stronger ties with its people. By offering information, cultural events, media and technology, American Corners spread goodwill and increase understanding.  Yet due to their location, within one university in a city 
, and their limited hours, the American Corners don’t serve
as many people as possible. Changing our hours and location is not feasible, but if we offer quality social media outreach we can alleviate this problem. Moreover, similar to the Anythink model,
 we’d like these libraries to
become gateways of connection, culture and information welcoming
people to America’s ideas and creativity
(Smith, 2011).
 Action Brief Statement
Convince the U.S. State Department
’s Bureau of Information Resources
 that by launching and maintaining a  YouTube Channel they will reach more people which will inform and educate more Indonesians because our  American Corners are limited in outreach capability.
One Solution
 We can creatively address the probl
ems of the American Corners’ limitations with multiple solutions,
and one of the most effective solutions is to develop an effective YouTube channel with well produced content. YouTube  videos can be produced inexpensively and they can educate, entertain and engage Indonesians.
By creating engaging videos we can promote our resources and programs to people who haven’t visited an
 American Corner or might not know there is one in their town, we can overcome a major obstacle. Students and professors at other universities do have computers in their libraries and offices which can be used for our videos.
 Although the information posted on websites and library entrances state longer hours, in Indonesia the libraries will open late and close early.
Emerging Technology Plan Susan Kelly
Often these students can’t come to the American Corner because they have classes and meetings during the hours
of operation. Moreover, they may not feel they be
long at a different campus and thus won’t visit the American
Corner. Business people, scientists and doctors work when the center is open. These professionals have access to computers at work if not at home. YouTube is a good way to reach these influential Indonesians.
Social Media in Indonesia
 While a small proportion of Indonesians use cell phones to connect to the internet (Pew, 2012), most offices and universities do have internet. Starbucks and restaurants offer wifi and have computers with internet access. Most high schools lack electricity and computers, but university libraries and technology departments do provide computer use. Our mission is to reach out to leaders, business people and tertiary students to enhance their understanding of the U.S.  The embassy in Jakarta does maintain a Facebook page with over 593,000 likes and frequent posts in Bahasa Indonesia
. However Facebook can’
t provide long or detailed messages. By offering more information visually, we can tell our story better.
 Why YouTube Makes Sense
 YouTube is a fitting medium for this outreach.
 The books in our American Corner don’t circulate so their impact
is limited to patrons near campus. Often viewing a video on a phone or computer can be a social activity here
 while reading isn’t.
Furthermore, YouTube videos can be created simply. As Paula Webb points out YouTube provides an opportunity to connect with distance learners and communicated to a mass audience with minimal effort (2011).
 Video Content
 To start we should concentrate on a manageable range of topics. I envision three types of videos in the beginning: 1.
Interviews with Indonesians who have returned from American Exchange programs or with Americans living in Indonesia. 2.
 American Corner programming (e.g. a presentation on how to apply to the Fulbright program, how our
elections work, what it’s like to attend college in the U.S., how different holidays are celebrated) with a
short introduction. 3.
Educational videos that teach information/social media literacy, English language or American culture. Ideas include: lessons on using credible sources, academic honesty, poetry readings, tips for better computer skills, cooking, and cultural exchange. For videos on using databases, we should be able to ask
for permission to add subtitles to the vendors’
existing tutorial videos and then place them within our channel. For inclusion on our channel, videos should: 1.
Have subtitles. Whether the speaking is in English or Bahasa, the video should speak to both speakers of Bahasa or English. We want to promote understanding and goodwill to Indonesians who may not have advanced English skills. (Also, by featuring Bahasa in much of our content we will serve Malay speakers as the languages are so similar.)

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