Thing 18: Communicating through photographs

If a story is not about the hearer he [or she] will not listen . . . A great lasting story is about everyone or it will  not last.

John Steinbeck, East of Eden.

For the library sector, communicating through photographs is essentially advocacy. And storytelling. Or am I wrong? And isn’t it so, that each person sees an image in line with his/her background of information, cultural experience and personal understanding? So where one photo will be harmless to some, to others it can be huge controversy or insulting.

Therefore, I would imagine that for a library’s account to be successful on Instagram or  Flickr etc.,  knowledge and sensitivity must be the starting point…know your community, their values, culture, lifestyle, struggles, and so forth, to ensure that no individual or group is made to feel inferior, insulted, intimidated, excluded, etc.

As a volunteer within libraries I’m unable to comment on how effective photography is as a means of impacting users and visits to the library. But as a user of social media and a library/museum/history/info enthusiast, I know how avidly I pursue various accounts, based on what they share.  Flickr is used effectively by libraries to show-case vintage photos, photos of their community activities, to document the history of their area, and more.  Instagram is a wonderful way to highlight displays in libraries and museums, to draw attention to new resources, to notify of, and share, activities within the library  and to be innovative in communication with a bid to draw the local community to the facility and all it has to offer (the recent #liblympics  from @noosalibraryservice was a brilliant example of an advocacy campaign on Instagram).

On a personal level I have used a Flickr account since 2011, and Instagram since December 2014.  I follow libraries and librarians, museums and other interesting (story-telling) accounts.  On Instagram I post photos of my volunteering efforts in libraries and interesting things I encounter along the way. I use Flickr as a cloud storage facility (on a private setting) for my personal photographs, since they offer 1 Terabyte free of charge, but I have made a few public in an album.

Here are some links to a few accounts that I follow, and which I really enjoy:

On Instagram:

Queensland University of Technology

Prince William Public Library, Virginia USA.

The National Portrait Gallery

The New York Public Library

ig-pic-nypl-picture

A happy snap from the New York Public Library’s Instagram account.

The British Library

The Noosa Library Service

Brisbane Libraries

The State Library Queensland

Elissa Malespina (librarian)

Not libraries, but powerful communication through photographs…

@primecollective

@johnstanmeyer

On Flickr:

State Library Queensland

The Library of Congress

The New York Public Library

The National Archives

NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

Antique Books (Group)

Sylvia Duckworth, educator.

australia-from-nasa

Australia sideways from NASA Goddard Space Flight Center via Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

 

Until next time, when we take a look at the legal side of things – copyright!

Thanks for stopping by. 😀

Featured image:
Storytelling by Daniele Rossi on Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

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Thing 8: Content curation

(c) S Brandt
The Curating Tree | S Brandt

Thing 8 requires us to work through one or more of a few popular web curation tools. Librarians are natural curators.  We love to organise things.  In the image above, the kiddies corner of the museum library hosts this ‘book review tree’, where the children’s book reviews are placed on display.  It’s easy to curate tangible things.  We do it all the time. Socks in their own drawer, books on a shelf, bank documents in a folder, garden tools in a shed, table cutlery all in one place.

So what do we do with the info we gather from the internet? How do we store the interesting articles, funny cat videos, beautiful images, the jokes, the stories that we encounter as we surf, read or research on the web? Enter web curation tools.

A few years ago I subscribed to Scoop.it, but consistently forgot to “scoop”.  :p (I recently deactivated that account, since I just don’t get to it at all.)  A  while later I enrolled on a webinar titled ‘Using Pinterest to be a better teacher‘ presented by Shannon Holden, via Newteacherhelp.com.  Having heard of Pinterest and how its users were waxing lyrical about what they found there, I was inquisitive when I saw that it could be called a teaching tool.  I subscribed, watched the webinar and was sold on the idea. Pinning, re-pinning and searching for content, friends or like-minded professionals is easy; content display is visually attractive and wow, do you get ideas from Pinterest!

File 2016-07-12, 6 44 02 PM

 

An image of my Pinterest profile page on iPad. With only 311 pins, I am in no way a serious pinner.  I have seen some accounts that run into the thousands of pins. 😀

 

I recall going into the school library one day, where I was an intern.  The librarian had called in sick and had left no instructions.  It was the first day of the week, and the display boards needed a theme…my first thought was “to Pinterest!”.  Sure enough, after searching ‘middle school library displays’, I was presented with a host of ideas and found one that the library assistant and I could put together in the 30 minutes before the first library lesson. File 2016-07-12, 6 43 22 PM

 

Here is an image of that display idea via Pinterest.                                (c) S Brandt

 

Of course, unless you don’t mind it, the downside with these sites is the amount of time (that elusive commodity once again) that one can potentially spend in browsing through curated content.  On Pinterest I can simply know that for the next hour I’ll be out of this current zone and visiting in the cyber world. Actually, for this desert-expat it’s really fun to visit other travel hotspots, gardens, homes, kitchens, bookshops, closets, fashion stores, art galleries…the list is endless.

One particular successful user on Pinterest is Jeff Bullas, a social media marketing blogger, strategist and speaker.  Regarding librarianship, a whole world opened up for me, of fun displays, interesting books, reading lists, library challenges, activities, worksheets, innovative spaces, makerspace ideas, and fantastically techie, awesome, librarians.

It is a reality that web-links become broken (that is, the web pages are deleted or moved).  So, although one curates, some links won’t be there when you re-visit them.  That said, the value one gets out of curating and sharing with others is truly rewarding.

Here are some cool pinterest logo tips and ideas.

 

content curation

Free image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

Another one of my favorite curation tools is Storify.  A Twitterchat, for example, that has been ‘storified’ is great, because while the chat is on there is little time to read each tweet or to visit links that others might share.  The Storify makes it so much more enjoyable and it’s also accessible later on.  In thing 8’s write up, the author Christine Jordan, gives a useful step-by-step explanation on how to Storify.  Do take a look.

Here is a Storify of an #auslibchat Twitterchat, that I took part in last week, via ALIA NGAC.

Having signed up for a free Storify account, I went ahead and used it to curate some of my own tweets pertaining to my volunteering effort at the museum library.  I keep a daily record on Twitter of what I do at the museum, using the hashtag #MIALibrary.  Here is my Storify…(click on the link below the image to access the Storify).

 

Libraries can use content curation in many ways…

  • curate content to place into a library blog;
  • curate about your library’s history and development (don’t forget to MARKET THE CURATION) to engage your users;
  • curate a twitter feed, Facebook posts, Instagram posts, etc. about displays, book reviews, book lists, clubs/services offered in the library, etc.
  • news…curate for librarians’ current awareness, to keep them up to date with new tech, new databases, professional advice, new games, etc.

And finally, libraries need to market their services, their resources, their hub.  Without knowledge of their community and their environment they could not offer a valid service.  Web content curation can help to keep the library’s stakeholders and decision makers informed of what is happening and why it’s vital to meet their users’ needs. This article from Social Media Today, provides tips to content curation for marketing purposes.

This link provides ideas for more curation tools. Let me know (below) which is your favourite.

Till ‘Thing 9’ and the topic of video recording technology.  Thanks again for stopping by.

Image credit:  Pinterest logo by Family Creative via Flickr on Creative Commons licence (BY-NC-ND 2.0)