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Snapshot Day 2014: Focus on Your Library

snapshotday_0With October just around the corner, there’s a lot to look forward to: Cool pleasant weather, colorful leaves, Halloween. But best of all, it’s the month when we measure the impact public libraries have on their communities during a typical day. The goal of this year’s Snapshot Day on October 1 is to highlight the role of libraries in communities across the state – but in addition to numbers, we’ll be using pictures and videos, too. And this year, you get to pick the day during the month that’s right for your Snapshot Day!

Throughout October, the New Jersey State Library and the NJ Library Association will lead efforts to help public libraries collect statistics, photographs, videos and quotes from their customers. The goal of this effort is to provide a snapshot of what happens in a typical day in the life of NJ libraries – from checking out books and helping children with homework, to helping residents find jobs, do their taxes, start their own businesses and much more.

We challenge NJ libraries to surprise the world with what we have to offer and what makes us unique — show that NJ Libraries are in the forefront and on the edge.

We have simplified Snapshot Day – there’s no form to fill out to participate! Just post to our Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/njlibrarysnapshot) with the following hashtags: #SnapshotNJ #Librariesontheedge #Gatecount (for number of visitors). If you can’t post, send your pictures, videos and reports to Peggy Cadigan at pcadigan@www.njstatelib.org (link sends e-mail).

What to Collect on Snapshot Day

The results of Snapshot Day will be used to promote public awareness of the benefit of public libraries. We’re encouraging libraries in every category – public, school, academic and special – to participate. Here are some things that you can do:

  • Plan a special event;
  • Take photos and video of library happenings;
  • Survey customers;
  • Collect statistics;
  • Invite your local media to attend your library’s events.

Get your social media accounts in order!

  1. Like the official NJ Snapshot Day Facebook page – https://www.facebook.com/njlibrarysnapshot
  2. Find and follow your federal and state legislators, your mayors, local press and local organizations – click for a list of
    NJ State legislators and NJ federal legislators
  3. If your library doesn’t have a social media presence, now is the time to start one. You’ll be surprised who starts following you! If you don’t remember how to upload photos and videos to social media sites, take a few minutes to review.

Reach out and advocate!

Much of what will make Snapshot Day a success for your library is reaching out and connecting with your community. Everything in NJ is local, use this opportunity to get feedback and make new connections that will help down the road.

Here are three things that you can to do this week in preparation for Snapshot Day:

1. Send out a media advisory now (Find a sample from ALA here)! If you’re planning something big for October 1st – or anytime that month – let the local media know so they can carry your story further.

2. Invite local stakeholders into the library on October 1st, even for a casual visit. Show them what the library has been up to and how the community is using it.

3. Make sure to talk about Snapshot Day with your staff. Front-line staffers are often the best source of information for what patrons are talking about and what’s going on in the community.

Last minute details!

We’re almost there! Don’t forget to take care of the last-minutes details so posting and promotion can run smoothly. Make sure to remind staff what’s going on, and post Snapshot Day fliers and comment cards at service desks around your library.

Here are three more last minute details you don’t want to forget:

  1. Do you have enough batteries for your camera or video camera?
  2. Print out photo releases, if required by your library.
  3. Do day-before press outreach – remind them about Snapshot Day and all the photo ops at your library!

.. and if you are going to participate, let us know by posting on our Snapshot Day Facebook page. We may surprise you and stop by for a visit!