Indiana Daily Student - IDSnews.com

IUB Libraries removes YouTube promo video

Officials feared pong shots promoted drinking


IUB Libraries removed a promotional video from YouTube after concern it promoted drinking.

The four-minute video showed students in the Herman B Wells Library bouncing ping-pong balls off walls, desks, shelves and down stairs and landing them into a red plastic cup. The video also featured several librarians.

The librarians in the video didn’t see the final product until it was put online, said Eric Bartheld, director of communications for IUB Libraries. He said he edited them into the video.

Some viewers associated the ping-pong shots with a drinking game, Bartheld said.

The libraries do not endorse inappropriate behavior, he said.

The appeal of the video relied on the extraordinary execution of the ping-pong shots, Bartheld said. He insisted the video was not doctored.

“We believe the video to be very entertaining,” Bartheld said. “But, it proved in part to be a bit controversial. We decided to do the right thing and remove it from the site.”

The video was up for about four days before it was taken down Aug. 28. The idea was given to the libraries from Kelley School of Business students for a marketing class.

Their assignment was to find a way to market the libraries’ services to students.

The Indiana Daily Student was unable to determine which class and which students were involved.

The video had two purposes, Bartheld said. One goal was to increase awareness of library services. The second was to promote the library’s game night on Aug. 27, which was designed to introduce freshmen to the libraries’ services in a fun way.

The event, co-sponsored by University Information Technology Services, Best Buy and the Library Commons Cafe, attracted 500 students. 

The motivation behind the video was to show the libraries’ services in an entertaining way, Bartheld said. He said it’s a challenge to get the message out about what the

libraries have to offer students.

“We are entirely motivated by the desire to help students do well academically and succeed at IU,” he said.

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