Category Archives: Library Examples

Patrons say the nicest things!

Today’s guest post is from Snapshot Day committee member Celeste Bruno of the MBLC:

Pictures aren’t the only great part of Snapmass – amazing comments from patrons really show how strongly people feel about their library.

In the toolkit, you’ll find comment cards to help you collect what patrons are saying. To make it easy for you to share some of your best comments on the Snapmass survey, you’ll see a free-text field where you can add your favorites.

Of course, collecting comments isn’t limited to people who are in the library. Patrons can use social media to share why they love their library. Encourage patrons to post to the Snapmass Facebook page at On Twitter, patrons can tag tweets with #snapmass14. In order for you to be able to identify comments from your particular patrons, people should also be encouraged to include the name of the town or library.

Here are a few wonderful patron quotes from 2012:

Our library and library staff are wonderful. From allowing students to find a quiet place to work to allowing adults to meet for a Civil War Round Table to a book club, the library is the heartbeat of our community. – East Bridgewater Public Library

We could not live here without our library! The Sawyer Free Library is one of the treasures of the community & provides an invaluable, irreplaceable service to all of us. – Alecia & David, Sawyer Free Library, Gloucester

I love coming to the library to get my work done. It’s always very quiet and the librarians are all very helpful. It really aids in my success. – Greenfield Community College

I love the library. It feels like home. Everyone is friendly and helpful. – Norton Public Library

I think that there is a nice balance being able to study in a quiet environment and learn with your friends help or helping a friend! – Westborough High School

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Snapshot Spotlight: Academic libraries

Six weeks out from Snapshot Day and registrations are coming in – more than 20 libraries have already signed up to participate this year. Will you be the next?

Today’s guest blogger is Kim Cochrane from the Henry Whittemore Library at Framingham State University, talking about the special ways in which academic libraries can benefit from being a part of Snapshot Day:

Snapshot Day is a great time to showcase your library – academic, school, public, and special libraries should all take part of this important exposure opportunity.

Academic libraries have the advantage of a mostly over-18 patron base, all of whom are able to grant permission for their photos to be used online. We have thoroughly enjoyed our Snapshot Days here at Framingham State; sometimes we have special events going on that we can boast about, and sometimes we just showcase our busy library as-is.

Alumni appreciate seeing the changes that have happened in the library since they left the hallowed halls, and our current students love to post their own selfies, proving to their families that they do come to the library to study.

I hope our fellow academic libraries will join us as we support and participate in Snapshot Day during the week of April 7th – 11th!

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Snapshot Day Publicity Toolkit now available

Visit the Plan, Prepare & Promote page for the 2014 Snapshot Day Publicity Toolkit. It contains a publicity planning checklist, editable bookmark and sticker templates in English and Spanish, and more.

Note: You do need to download and save the PDF to edit the dates on the bookmarks and stickers.

Also in the Toolkit is this year’s MBLC Photo Release form. If you have patrons in your photos sign this form, the photo can be used statewide to promote Snapshot Day and libraries. Download the PDF and then you’ll be able to fill in your library name in the fields and print out as many copies as you need.

Here are some tips for getting and using the photo release form from Celeste Bruno at the MBLC:

When it comes to whether or not photo releases are needed for your Snapmass Day, the Snapmass Committee recommends using them (a copy of one is in the toolkit). But we also know that it can be a bit of a nuisance, so we’ve got some hints for working with them in a way that hopefully will feel a little less awkward. If you have tips on effectively using photo release forms, we hope you’ll share your tips, too.

  • Prominently post signs letting people know you’ll be taking photos. Signs might say something like the following:
    • “Watch for roving photographers as part of our participation in National Library Snapshot Day which helps showcase the value of our library!”
    • “We’ll be taking photos today as part of National Library Snapshot Day to help us share the importance of our library.”

    With some advanced notice, you’ll have less explaining to do and people won’t be surprised if you ask them to sign a release.

  • Have a non-verbal way that people can opt out of having their picture taken by offering “No Photo Please” stickers at the reference desk. Colored dots or fun stickers can be used for kids who can’t be photographed.
  • When possible, get photo releases signed ahead of time. This method works best with regularly schedules programming, like story times. It also works well with teens who may attend an event without their parent or guardian (minors, of course, can’t sign their own release). Again, make those “No Photo Please” stickers available.
  • If you’re having a large community event, set up a table with releases at the entrance and ask people to sign them as they come in. Give folks who don’t sign them, a “No Photo Please” sticker.
  • In an effort to “capture the moment,” you’ll sometimes snap a photo without asking a person to sign a release first. After you’ve taken the photo, ask them to sign one. If they refuse, delete the photo from your camera immediately so you don’t mistakenly upload it.
  • Don’t forget that most patrons are happy to help their library! Be sure to explain to them that any photos they may appear in will be used online and in print to share the importance and value of public libraries.
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Snapshot Day website is live, and registration is open!

Visit our Registration page to sign up for SnapMass 2014. Registration will be open through the week of Snapshot Day (April 7-11, 2014).

The Snapshot Day website has been updated for 2014, with new content in our Plan, Prepare, and Promote section. In particular, check out our suggestions for encouraging patrons to contribute directly to Snapshot Day.

For an idea of how to use what you learn during Snapshot Day, here’s a few ideas from Kirsten Underwood of the Methuen Public Library.

Here in Methuen we found that having the quotes and pictures was a great way to build a bank of materials to use when marketing the library and its services throughout the year. In particular, we developed a slideshow which included quotes and pictures and we run it during a social event for newly elected officials each December. It just runs in the background while the trustees and members of senior staff meet and greet with the city selectmen.

By entering the quotes in to a MS Word document, they are then easily transferable to any flyers and or website blurbs we might want to put up on our home page and or our Facebook page. There is really a treasure trove of good stuff for very little effort. Love Snapshot Day!!

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2012 Snapshot Day success

Good morning, all! Thanks again for a magnificent Massachusetts Library Snapshot Day. As of last count, we had 186 libraries across the state registered and (hopefully) capturing the day in the life of their organization. You can see a full list of participating libraries and take a look at where they are on a map.

If you participated, remember to add your photos in Flickr to the Massachusetts Library Snapshot Day group and tag them with snapmass12 so they can be part of the slideshow above. For help with tagging, please visit the SnapMass Help page and follow the links from there.

Finally, please fill out the Snapshot Day Survey before April 20th, and submit as many great Patron Quotes as you have.

Thanks again, all, and happy spring!

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And first Flickr images are up…

Thanks to the libraries celebrating their Snapshot Days yesterday and today, the first images are up in the MA Snapshot Day Flickr group. Visit the Flickr group or look at images tagged with snapmass12 to see everything uploaded so far.

Winners of the Fastest Upload on the Block awards go to:

Danvers Library, Danvers
Forbes Library, Northampton
Salem Public Library, Salem
Oliver Wendell Holmes Library, Phillips Academy, Andover
Peabody Institute Library (Danvers or Peabody? – please add your town to your Flickr profile)

As an inspiration, here’s a fantastic example of how to do SnapMass right. Perfectly titled, described, and tagged. And a great shot…to boot. Thanks, Salem PL!

Books & Boots

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A Blast from the Past – Using Video to Promote Snapshot Day

As I was adding to our ever-growing list of libraries participating in SnapMass2012, I discovered a video gem from the Westborough High School Library. Last year, the Westborough High School’s Lobby Observer – a video news program presented by students – interviewed librarian Anita Cellucci about Snapshot Day. She’s got it back up on the library’s What’s New @ the Library page again for this year.

Library Snapshot Day from Lobby Observer on Vimeo.

Using a video-ready camera and free & easy-to-use social media tools, a quick video promo is only a few hours in the making. If you can, use local students or volunteers with the right gear to help you out.

With that, have a great weekend everyone!

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Planning & Preparing – Haverhill Public Library

A guest post from Alissa Lauzon, Head of Youth Services, Haverhill Public Library

Want a chance to show your community what a day is like in the life of your library? Participate in Library Snapshot Day!

The Haverhill Public Library will be participating in Library Snapshot Day on April 12th and, rather than planning specific special events for the day, we are focusing on the daily life of our library to show our patrons what a “typical” day is like here. Staff members will be going around the library (photo releases in hand) taking pictures of what other staff are doing as part of their jobs and how library patrons are using our library.

We’ll be documenting children using our AWE Early Literacy Station, playing with our puppet theater, reading with mom or dad, and attending story time; we’ll capture adults using the computers and having captivating discussions over the newspaper in our reading room; and teens engaged in activities in the Teen Zone or hard at work on homework. Everyday aspects of our jobs such as handling delivery and shelving books will be documented with statistics and visually so that our patrons, taxpayers, and elected officials can see just what we do here at the Library.

Some of my favorite photos from last year were those of our patrons using the library, especially the children: the young boy holding his first library card and just beaming, the little girl sitting on the floor surrounded by books trying to decide which ones she wanted to take home. Those types of pictures are easily worth a thousand words and, coupled with statistics about usage from one day, present a strong message about the importance of Library to the community.

I’ll be ready on April 12th with my camera and photo releases to document just how important the library is to my community. Will you?

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The impact of Library Snapshot Day

A guest post from Keiley McGregor, Simmons GSLIS ’13, ALASC Event Coordinator.

Last year’s Library Snapshot Day showcased the relevance of libraries to their communities and, by extension, reaffirmed librarianship as an integral profession worth recognizing and pursuing. Working toward a degree in this field earns many discouraging reactions, from “So…you want to work in a library?” to “Do you just get to read books all day?” The worst of these questions – “Will libraries even be necessary in the future what with today’s technology?” – set librarian and student teeth to grinding. Snapshot Day provides a resounding “Now more than ever!” rebuttal to this skepticism and doubt.

The first Snapshot Day photo album on the Simmons ALASC Facebook page reveals that libraries and archives house both books and technological media. Most importantly, whether characterized by its fine architecture or the children’s artwork plastering the walls, whether located overseas or represented by cubicles, the most valuable asset of any library is its staff. People often overlook the roles of librarians and other library employees because they perform such essential functions. We support the pursuit of knowledge from kindergarten through higher education; we preserve cultural heritage (French Library of Boston); we lay the research groundwork for our larger institutions (Christian Science Monitor Research Library); we provide a home for special interests to grow (America’s Test Kitchen Library). Libraries and archives welcome diversity of resources and users. Librarians, archivists, staff and volunteers help to bring the two together in order to meet information needs.

So…yeah, I do want to work in a library.

Here’s to Library Snapshot Day in 2012 unveiling the rest of the iceberg! Rest assured that library and information science students here at Simmons will be participating with enthusiasm! For those who take the time to snap and upload photos: thank you. For those who take the time to look at them: enjoy – we are here for you.

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“Picture Perfect” Program at MLA



NOTE: if you missed this session at MLA, please check back on May 10 – the audio from the session will be available then!


Picture Perfect Program at MLA - Celeste Bruno presenting
Demo of the Make Every Day Snapshot Day! site



  • An Overview of MA Library Snapshot Day by Nancy Rea, consultant; Haverhill Public Library Board of Trustees
  • How We Used Technology by Beth Gallaway, Assistant Director, Haverhill Public Library
  • The MBLC Toolkit and Promoting to the Public by Celeste Bruno, MBLC
  • The School Library Connection by Kathy Lowe, MSLA
  • The Preliminary Data by Beth Gallaway
  • 20 Ways to Use MA Library Snapshot Day Data & Photos by Harry Williams, Director, Thomas Crane Memorial Library, Quincy MA
  • Q&A/Feedback by Nancy Rea

Slides: Picture Perfect: 2011 MA Library Snapshot Day

Handout: 20 Easy Ways to Make Snapshot Success Work for Your Library

What went well?

  • Taking photos!
  • SO many libraries participated (227 – NJ got 250, half their municipalities)
  • 3400+ photos in Flickr Pool from 162 contributors
  • Photos describe every type of program service
  • You can use photos in pool for your own library!
  • “Picture Power!”
  • Libraries did a great job getting the word out!
    • Local media coverage
    • Media coverage continues (snapshot of what happened on Snapshot day – send photos to newspaper)
  • On a slow day, having almost as many people visit libraries as went to Disney World!
  • Website was good & helpful
  • Really enjoyed having the toolkit – checking off what to do, what to do next
  • Staff members volunteered to man the door with photo releases to explain what was going on

What Would We Change

  • Confusion over which form to use (Scorecard of activity per hour, or traditional reference/attendance counts)
  • We as a committee not sure what/how to track data
  • Used to ARIS; may not need such granular information on statewide scale
  • Really ask people for only 4-5 things, in simple language, same questions across each library type
    • Visits (number of people)
    • What was circulation?
    • How many questions (of any kind)?
    • How many computer users?
  • Simplify survey – results are for the public who may not care about what we care about
  • Clarify focus on “just today”
  • Data may not reflect what we are really doing, because we’re really busy (can’t track everything)
  • Still need feedback from libraries about what worked & what didn’t
  • Delegate more
  • Clarify categories in advance (i.e. is a user on personal laptop a computer user?)
  • Release forms were difficult – matching up which release goes with which picture is a challenge!
  • Add “description” line to photo release form
    • Question: is a sign i.e. photography in progress, please see a librarian if you don’t want your photo taken) a possibility?
    • Answer: more of an issue with minors – err on the side of caution, especially when youth are involved
  • Notifying public of photos ahead of time may be a strategy!
  • Libraries are encouraged to collect other info beyond what is collected on that day
  • Ways to make Snapshot Day obvious to people who don’t normally show up in libraries
    • Get governor to proclaim it MA Library Day
    • Communicate the significance of Snapshot Day to staff!

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