This afternoon I listened to a free ALA webinar about Library Snapshot Day. Before viewing/listening to the webinar, I was familiar with Library Snapshot Day only through the implementation of it planned for April 13 by the ALA Student Chapter (ALASC) at Simmons: the ALASC is asking library students to take photos of the libraries in which they work and volunteer. This is a great event on a local scale, but Library Snapshot Day is a scalable event – the webinar outlined statewide events in New Jersey, Maine, and Kansas.
One of the main ideas behind Library Snapshot Day is to use the statistics that librarians are so fond of collecting (or which they are mandated by state and federal governments to collect) for advocacy purposes. These stats can be helpful in getting legislators on the side of libraries, and they can also have a positive effect on library patrons. As Rob Banks of the Topeka and Shawnee Public Library said, “My personal belief is, a lot of the people who use libraries are also voters.”
As far as printed materials, the really effective format seemed to be a photo of people in a library, paired with a quote from a library patron, accompanied by a powerful statistic, such as the number of people who use the library each day (or year), the number of materials (books, movies, music) loaned out, or the number of people who use computers at the library or receive job search help from library staff. (A great source for library statistics in Massachusetts is the Mass. Board of Library Commissioners site.)
Happy Library Advocating!