|Social Media Snapshots is our regular dose of all the best content from our social media channels, delivered right to your inbox. We encourage you to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest, and now Instagram, wheee! But if you don’t, you can rely on Social Media Snapshots to keep you up to date on developments in technology and libraryland -- here in NJ & around the country -- as well as fun things like photos you can share with your staff and patrons.
Want to know more about how you can use social media to connect with your community?
Drop Sophie Brookover a line!
This is How We Do It: Instagram
Great news! LibraryLinkNJ is now on Instagram. We will mostly be using it to regram, or share, photos of what member libraries around the state and other exemplar libraries elsewhere are doing, but it will also be useful for documenting our own events, conferences we attend, and libraries that we visit.
Many of our colleagues at libraries around the Garden State have been leading the way. Here’s a list of NJ libraries we’re already following. If your library is on Instagram and we’re not following you yet, let me know!
If you’re thinking about launching an Instagram account for your library, there’s an annotated list of the tools making it work for us in the next section. Bear in mind, I’m running all of these apps on my phone. You can view and link to accounts and photos in your browser, but most of the work of Instagram is mobile, so you’ll need a smartphone, tablet or iPod Touch.
Instagram - this is the main app, of course, and I've connected the LibraryLinkNJ Tumblr, Twitter and Facebook Page to it. We can cross-post directly to Facebook and Tumblr. Twitter is activated only as a back-up, because of the next piece of the puzzle:
IFTTT - IFTTT stands for If This, Then That, which is a free service where you set up algorithms called recipes. Each recipe is based on the idea that IF you take a specific action in one connected app, THEN that triggers another action in another app. Because Twitter won't post images from Instagram as images (it only posts them as links, which force people to click out of Twitter, which is annoying), I set up a workaround through IFTTT so that when I post an image to Instagram tagged #tw, IFTTT shares that post to Twitter with an embedded image, not a link out to Instagram. People are more likely to see our photos this way. This is a Set It And Forget It feature. I just have to remember to use #tw when posting photos!
Repost - Unlike Twitter, Facebook or Tumblr, Instagram doesn't have a native sharing feature, so to share photos from other accounts, I need to use a third-party app to share other libraries' photos. Repost is free & easy to use.
I’m fortunate to have two devices available to me - one for work and one of my own, so I don’t have to log in and out of Instagram every day. Before I hit on this right-for-us strategy of using Instagram primarily to share what other libraries are doing, I occasionally would share my own Instagrams with the LibraryLinkNJ Tumblr and Facebook Page. If your library doesn’t have a dedicated device for their social presence, and you’d like to give it a whirl using your own device, these instructions should help you connect your Facebook Page to your account.
Here’s how I decide what to regram: I scroll through all our follows on Repost, or just search the #tumblarians, #libraries, or #librarians hashtags there. When I choose an image to post, Repost automatically takes me back to Instagram & I can post from there, adding filters, if desired. (I don’t add filters over whatever filters are already there, because I want to honor the original poster’s aesthetic choices.) I then update the caption to highlight why I’m regramming the image.
You can’t schedule Instagram posts like you can on FB, Twitter & Tumblr. This inflexibility is a little bit annoying, but it also makes for spontaneity, and of course, that’s why we have the hashtag #latergram (you know, for photos you post, well, later). We haven’t posted any videos to Instagram yet, but I’m sure that’s something we’ll get to.
We hope you enjoy what we’re posting! For now, we are following libraries and other learning-related nonprofits. If you are using Instagram as an individual, but mostly on behalf of your library, let me know so we don’t miss out on your great photos!
And now, we’re switching back to the first person plural. On with your regularly scheduled newsletter!
You're probably seeing a lot of conflicting information about the Facebook Messenger App. Chances are good that your students, patrons & colleagues are hearing and wondering about it, too. This summary & analysis from everyone’s favorite Internet rumor-debunking service, Snopes, is very useful, and well worth sharing.
Pop quiz! What Classic Novel Describes Your Life? (Sophie got Charlotte’s Web).
The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture has shut down seed libraries in the Keystone State under the terms of the Seed Act of 2004. So far, this looks like a Pennsylvania-only issue, but we’ll be keeping an eye on the situation because of the growing popularity of seed libraries in NJ. Now might be a good time to check with Rutgers Extension. (via Twitter, See the image below)
Get Outside the Lines, coming up next month, is “a weeklong celebration to reconnect you with the creativity, technology, discovery and all of the fun and unexpected experiences happening in libraries today – think: 3D printers, ebooks, woodworking classes, personal job search help, laptop checkouts, biz incubators, seed libraries, recording studios…the list goes on.” We would love to see NJ libraries of all kind participating in this project -- the organizers have created a press room to help you get involved and share your involvement with your community members and media outlets. (via Twitter)
You’ve probably been following the developing and chilling story of the current Ebola virus outbreak. The National Network of Libraries of Medicine has compiled this list of Authoritative Ebola Resources - handy for allaying fears and dispelling rumors. (via Tumblr)