Thing 18 Communicating through Photographs or A Picture is Worth a Thousand Retweets

Sharing Jodi's Library Poem from Flickr

Sharing Jodi’s Library Poem taken close to my library from Flickr

Poem Pavement near Sutton Library by Jodi CC BY-NC-SA 2.0


I was able to locate that my library did have a presence on Flickr which included a selection of photos – all of which were under copyright, so I am unable to share any of those photos here. It was of interest to me that my library service has had this account, consisting of 40 photos taken in 2009. No further photos appear to have been added since which leads me to believe this was set up by staff members that have since left the service. I am not sure the specific reason the library no longer appears to use their Flickr account unless this was in agreement with Sutton Council social media policy. I will need to investigate further.

Having a Flickr account that was more  up-to-date and interactive would be an excellent way of visually collating all our activities (such as summer reading challenge photos) quickly and efficiently, which we could then publicize through our other social media pages. Dublin City Library’s Photostream shows this very well and on one screen you get the sense of a dynamic buzzing library service.

Whilst the library doesn’t appear to use Flickr at present, our Archive Service has a very active Flickr account, through which it visually record it’s Past on Glass project


Their Flickr account allows a degree of sharing of these historically interesting photos taken by David Knights-Whittome (1876 – 1943) using the Creative Commons Licence  and includes a photos showing Carshalton Convent (St Philomena’s School), Cycle Proficiency, 8 Jul 1907

Carshalton Convent (St Philomena's School), Cycle Proficiency, 8 Jul 1907

Carshalton Convent (St Philomena’s School), Cycle Proficiency, 8 Jul 1907

The Past on Glass at Sutton Archives CC BY-NC 2.0

Displaying their Flickr account  through their interesting and active blog, our archive department are publicising their work to a wide audience, bringing local history to life whilst at the same time promoting their varied work and preserving this interesting and delicate archive.


Compared to Flickr that is great for embedding into blog posts or for the more professional photographs, Instagram seems a more instant visual media for getting information quickly to followers, promoting participation. It is a much quicker way of getting the images  ‘up and out there’ through twitter and facebook. It would allow us to snap some wonderful shots showing our ‘behind-the-scenes’ work as and when things happened and for us to interact and participate with our users quickly through visual means. For example, when we run book events and have copies of books to give away or to enter competitions or during live events such as concerts or performances to be able to link and promote quickly and effectively allowing direct participation from our library users.

I did a similar thing with the arrival of ‘Go Set A Watchman’ earlier this year but it took me a while during my own time to save the photo from my phone, to upload via the computer to the various library twitter and facebook feeds and it generated a very high rate of views, so to be able to do this quickly through an instagram account linked to our social media feeds, we could attract more followers and more virtual participation as and when things happen.

Again, discussion as to the social media policy used would be necessary in order to consider starting a library instagram account.

I will link the wonderful British Library Instagram account displaying just how powerful it is to have a visual account of what amazing things go on at your library


One thought on “Thing 18 Communicating through Photographs or A Picture is Worth a Thousand Retweets

  1. Your post raisesa key point about continuity in relation to marketing and administrative activities. Everything is great when there are the staff and the enthusiasm and the will to run social media accounts but when these things fade what happens? And how does that reflect on the library when inactive accounts are stumbled upon by the public? #rudai23


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