Live Cams: Peepholes into the world


Laura Madler

The library webcams offer students in school a window to the world around them.

Live cameras are set up around the world in places from beaches to natural reserves to give people a peek at things they wouldn’t usually see. These live cams can offer a raw, unfiltered view into the lives of wild animals. Because they are unedited and don’t have voice-overs like documentaries do, the camera feeds show the viewer exactly what they would see if they were where the camera is in nature.

Menchville shows live cam footage on televisions in the library, which is appreciated by many students. “It gives a really nice ambiance,” said Shelby Woodward, a freshman who spends a lot of time in the library. Footage from nature helps bring peaceful vibes to the seating area of the library, which is beneficial for studying and research. “This school barely has any windows,” said Laura Madler, “so the live cams give students a chance to view nature while they’re inside all day.”

Media Specialist Sandy Graham hopes the cams will be educational and foster an appreciation of nature in library visitors. The camera on the library TV currently features a bird feeder. Said junior Kelly Ritenour, “I really like the bird camera in the library- it actually reminds me of when I was younger, my dad always worked from home and he had monitors and TVs, and he’d always put on bird cams of eagles and we’d just watch that while it was broadcasting.” Janine Carneal, Menchville English teacher and former fashion retailer, enjoys watching a live cam from Paris to “see all the fashions” on the busy city streets.” 

One website, boasts a particularly diverse array of live camera feeds. While most of their cams are wildlife cams, they also have cameras for natural phenomena, such as the aurora borealis, and footage of domestic animals, such as dogs, cats, and various farm animals. The site also provides highlight reels from the cameras to show viewers footage of animals, even when the live cam isn’t seeing any action at the moment. The site includes adorable animals such as donkeys, puppies, kittens, and sheep, and cams of larger animals such as elephants, tigers, bears, and underwater footage of fish and dolphins. 

The site has a popular shark cam, on which local shark enthusiast Ethan Matthews commented, “I really like this cam because, not only does it show a large variety of marine life, but it also shows sharks- which are really cool.” Shelby Woodward also enjoys the underwater cams because of her interest in marine biology. Junior and cat owner Colleen Lubic was struck by the cat live cam because of cats are her favorite animal- “they are so cute and warm and soft, and they have handsome faces.”

Live cams allow students to go places they want to go, see things out of the ordinary, and view what makes them happy. Check out the Menchville library for featured feeds of eagles and other birds.