A few years ago, one of my students told me I should make an Instagram for the media center. At the time, my phone was so old it didn’t even have a keyboard, so I just brushed off the idea. But then this school year, I got an iPad, and then later an iPhone. I decided to go ahead and try creating an Instagram account where the main purpose would be to inform students about what’s going on with the media center. I casually mentioned the new account to one of my afterschool students. A few minutes later, three students in the room told me that they just started following me. I quickly realized that this could be a powerful tool to advertise the media center.
I post everything from the book I’m currently reading, to special events in the library, to 3D printers at MakerCons. I’ve created special hashtags for different events and topics in the media center: #stewarthive is for all Makerspace posts, #5bookparty features our quarterly reading incentive parties, and each bookfair gets it’s own special tag too. We even won a Presidential Award from Scholastic’s Student Crew Contest for our advertising campaign we launched through Instagram.
Of course, this only works if it’s the app-du-jour for your students. Talk to them and find out what they use. If you meet the students where they’re at, you can better promote your program and get more students interested in what’s going on in your library.
Are you on Instagram? How do you use it? What’s your username?