Many of our teens are on instagram, so our school library took the leap and created an instagram page.
The only downside is that instagram will not let you run your account only on the computer…you need a mobile device. (or so they want you to think). Every teacher has their line in the sand. Mine was that I wanted my device to be used for my personal account…not my work account. So I did some digging. What I found was a program called gramblr. This is a program that will post to your instagram and allow you to schedule posts.
This program is available for free online and will download to your desktop. It will ask for your instagram login. So far I’ve been using it for 2 months and haven’t had issues.
Before you decide if your library should join a social network, there are a few things you should do.
Check your school/library social media policy
Our district has a social media policy, so I made sure to read it to make sure I am in compliance. I make sure that I have no students in my pictures. I may have the students involved in the planning process for posts, but I don’t have time to go through paperwork to see who is allowed to be in pictures and who isn’t.
It’s amazing when you have kids plan a social media post. They are very good about thinking about
- the goal of the post
- how it will be recieved
- how they can creativly get their message across without putting a human in the photo
- using their resources
- if their work can be featured in the post
Having students help plan the instagram account is a great incentive for students who are done early and want to help.
Have a plan of what content will be featured
When I pitched this idea to my principal, I had been running a library related facebook page, and had some ideas of what type of content would be good for our library. I also had a clear idea of our audience.
We were given some mounts, and I decided to give them personalities and make them online celebrities that make book recommendations. I also feature photos of displays, maker stuff, and displays from our museum. Knowing the type of content makes it an easier sell to administrators, and will put their fears at ease.
Make sure your boss is in the loop
Make sure that your instagram page aligns with district and building goals. Your principal will know if this is a good fit for your library or not.
Decide how you want to promote it
I am a HUGE fan of the soft push when you promote a crazy new program (It’s how I started my Maker Program and I have NO Regrets). I told students slowly to try and get them to do some grassroots advertising. I started it close to the end of the school year. In the new school year, I hope to continue to use it to promote reading and library activites.