Yale Medical Library employees nearly dressed up as cavemen to film their own Geico commercial, but they realized students might be better for the job.

In search of a video to promote library resource Yale Links, which provides links to full academic journal articles free of charge, library staff are holding a video contest and accepting submissions from students. The creator of the winning video will receive an iPod Touch and iTunes gift card.

Yale Links is not new to the library research system, but Liaison Activities Coordinator Denise Hersey said librarians hope student and faculty competitors will learn about the system through the creation of videos, . The winning entry will also serve as excellent publicity for the system itself, which is available for use by the entire Yale community, she said.

“The contest is beneficial in two ways, because contestants are learning about Yale Links while promoting the program,” Hersey said.

The system allows researchers to access all of the library’s electronic materials, and users have the option of ordering articles that are not available in the database. Yale Links can also be accessed from a personal computer when a user is searching library databases.

“Yale Links really makes your life easier if you’re doing any kind of research,” Hersey said.

John Gallagher, access and delivery services librarian, said he hopes the contest will also promote the utility of the library itself.

“The purpose of this contest is two-fold,” he said. “On one hand, we want to show that the library itself is a valuable resource, and on the other hand, we hope to generate interest in Yale Links.”

The top five videos will be chosen by a group of library staff, and the grand prize winner will be determined by an online campus-wide vote between Dec. 4 and Dec. 13, according to a statement on the contest’s Web site. The winning submission will be posted on the Medical Library Web site for the duration of spring semester.

But some students interviewed said they do not believe a video will substantially increase the use of Yale Links.

Kaozouapa Lee ’11, a frequent patron of Yale libraries, said she has never been formally introduced to any of the library’s research resources.

“I didn’t even know we had research tools, and despite the usefulness of Yale Links, a video probably wouldn’t increase the probability that I’d use it,” she said.

When evaluating the submissions, Hersey said, library staff will be looking for a fun and creative video that teaches the viewer something about Yale Links.

The contest’s winner will be announced prior to winter break.