For this assignment I watched Jeff Dawson’s and Michael Porter’s Library Images: Engage, Inspire and Tell your Story presentation. I can’t say that it wasn’t interesting but I easily got distracted during Michael’s portion of the presentation. The why is unique to me. Full disclosure: I’ve been Michael’s co-presenter for that exact presentation twice, at the 2009 Computers in Libraries and Internet Librarian conferences. In other words, most of this presentation was nothing new for me.
However, that shouldn’t be interpreted as disagreeing with anything either of them had said. In fact, I agree with every word they both said so much, I’ve shared the stage. So, rather than comment directly on what they said, I’d like to take a moment to add a few comments.
I speak on the benefits of social networks to libraries constantly and have been doing so for years now. During almost every social networking presentation I get a question something like this: “Ok, you’ve convinced me/us. But I’ve got only so much time. What is the one thing I should do for my library out of all the options?”
I tell them to grab a camera, start taking photos, and post them to flickr. Even if they don’t take the few extra moments to post those photos on their Web site (which they should) posting those photos to flickr provides several benefits: they visually tell the library’s story, they allow others to comment on the events taking place in the photos, and they contribute to the larger collective story of libraries (though contributing the photo to something like the Libraries and Librarians group.)
Seriously, there can be nothing easier than taking a few photos at an event you’re already at and posting them to flickr. You don’t have to be a “photographer” do to this. Get the library a $50 digital camera or two and snap away. It’s not like you’ve got to get the film developed any more.
So, to repeat myself, if you do just one social thing online for your library, give flickr a try. It’s the most bang for your buck.