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Reflections on a Year of Flickring

Entry Categories: Training  

It’s been almost a year since the Nebraska Library Commission created its Flickr account (actual creation date: August 30, 2006). Given this fact, we thought it might be nice to pause a moment and reflect back on how the account has grown and what our involvement with Flickr has taught us.

Let’s start with some statistics. As of July 23, 2007, we’ve uploaded 601 photos and screenshots to our account, and these photos and screenshots have been viewed 7,197 times. We’ve created two Flickr groups: Nebraska Libraries, which boasts 16 members and 83 photos, and Pets of Nebraska Librarians, which boasts 40 members and 81 photos. We’ve offered at least eight Flickr training sessions at five different locations in Nebraska.

What’s the most popular photo in our account? Judging by Flickr’s “interestingness” criteria, it’s a photo of the “Laptop Friendly” sign in Holdrege Public Library’s front window. After being posted to NLC’s Flickr account and added to the Library Signage group, this photo got pointed to by several librarian bloggers who publicly praised the sign, thereby drawing traffic to the photo in Flickr. As a result, it’s been viewed 346 times, and six Flickr users count it as a “favorite.”

So why did NLC get involved in Flickr? We believed that if we were going to start talking about how libraries could use Web 2.0 tools to connect with users and promote services, then we should have some first-hand experience using them ourselves. And Flickr was a logical place to start. Librarians have been busily uploading pictures of anything and everything related to libraries to Flickr, and through these pictures they have been sharing success stories and shining the spotlight on best and worst practices as never before. This provided a ready-made community for us to plug into.

Our Flickr experience has also proved to us that library content uploaded to Flickr will be noticed by non-librarians. For example, our Nebraska Libraries Flickr group boasts at least two members who are not librarians but who live in Nebraska and had pictures of Nebraska libraries they wanted to share. There is also the case of the former Nebraska resident who discovered a picture of his home-town library on our site. He not only marked the picture as a favorite, he also reminisced on his personal blog about going there as a kid to check out books on Babe Ruth and dinosaurs.

NLC’s Flickr account also received publicity via the USA Today Tech_Space blog. In this instance Nebraska native and USA Today blogger Angela Gunn pointed readers to our Nebraska Public Libraries photoset, which features 278 mapped images of Nebraska public libraries. What is particularly gratifying about her post is that she takes the time to point out to her national audience that not all communities are able to support huge public libraries like Seattle’s: “The collection's a pretty amazing document, and if you aren't familiar with how small towns squeeze in their libraries, it's likely to be an eye-opening. (Seattleites and other folk accustomed to high-profile library construction and starchitectural edifices are especially invited to browse).”

If you haven’t visited us on Flickr yet, please stop by and say hi!

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This page contains a single article from N³ created on August 8, 2007 9:28 AM.

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