For Thing #10, I played around with Instagram. I’ve had an Instagram account for about six months, but I haven’t used it very often. I have a grand total of four photos that I’ve shared. And three of those I’ve posted within the last few weeks, because I knew this Thing was ahead, so I started playing with it.
Despite the low number of photos (and no profile picture), I enjoy using Instagram. If you are used to other social networking tools (Twitter, Facebook, etc.), it’s very easy to use. You can follow friends and organizations, share and edit your own photos, tie photos to a location, and use hashtags like #ThrowbackThursday or #SelfieSunday.
My library recently started an Instagram account, so I decided to see what other nearby libraries have been doing. I found a couple of accounts:
- Wilson Library
- Walter Library (University of MN)
- University of MN Libraries
- Hennepin County Library
- University of St. Thomas Libraries
Walter Library features their staff quite often, which I think adds a personal touch. (Also, they just posted a photo of their half-eaten pies for Pi Day, so now I’m feeling a bit hungry.) Hennepin County has a nice mix of behind the scenes photos, #ThrowbackThursday images from their archives, library programs, and staff. The Instagram guide on the 23 Mobile Things website included a link to 10 Interesting Ways to Use Instagram for Your Library. Even though the article is missing a #4, I really liked some of the ideas and can see how the libraries above are experimenting with some of them.
The other tool I know of that would be very helpful for using Instagram for a library is Worldcam. You can enter your location and see what photos other users have posted of your library or near your library. Here’s an example for Wilson Library. Keeping an eye on this page would be a great way to interact with users on Instagram instead of just sending photos out into the abyss.