Saturday, June 11, 2016

SnapChat & The School Library: A Love Story

Library Snapshot Day has been around for years and began as a way to showcase, through pictures, all the amazing things that are happening in our school libraries.  I thought, wouldn't it be great to take pictures of all the incredible things happening in the library whenever they happen, not just on a particular day.  My Flickr albums go back several years documenting the fun, learning adventures in my libraries.  I also shared these pictures out with my PLN via Twitter and Facebook.  I even have had Twitter and Facebook accounts for my school library. But, where were the kids? Students just weren't then and aren't now using Twitter or Facebook.  It's not their thing.  

Where on social media are the kids?  SnapChat, Instagram & YouTube!  George Couros wrote ablog post about SnapChat Stories that peaked my interest in using SnapChat (Stories-Librarian-LOL).  So, this past school year, I took the plunge and learned how to use SnapChat.  I used it from Day 1 and almost every single day to tell the story of the JCHS Library. I also made sure to download each SnapChat so that I could upload the images to my Flickr account, and also post images to my school Instagram, Facebook and Twitter accounts.

Letting kids know that the library has a SnapChat account and getting them to follow the account was important, otherwise anything I posted would just be me talking to myself, thus, meaningless.  

I used Canva to create a poster that hung in the entrance of the library. (see below) Then I made a "big deal" out of taking pictures with the JCHS_Library SnapChat account, starting with simple selfies, and then screaming animately, "Library Snappy Chat! Follow us!"  The kids thought I was also made them curious.  My SnapChatting continued with our new MakerSpace, snapping out all the awesomeness happening there. This evolved into students saying, "Ms. Robertson! Come here! SnapChat this!" referring to what they were doing in the MakerSpace. I will never forget the first time I heard one student say to another student, "Yeah. It's on the library SnapChat right here. You should follow them".  

I have also noticed that more and more educators have been asking, "How are you using Snapchat in your school/library?"  I like to think of SnapChat as a way to not only advertise new books or library events, but a place to celebrate students, teachers, and all the wonderful things that are happening in and around the library.

Here are a few ways to use SnapChat in your library:
  • Promote new books
  • Advertise library promotions
    • Poem In Your Pocket
    • Banned Books
  • Spotlight new robots, art supplies, Legos, etc in the MakerSpace
  • Showcase student talent
    • music mixing in the MakerSpace
    • impromptu singing
  • Celebrate great co teaching lessons
    • Breakout EDU
    • Digital Portfolios
  • Let followers know what is printing today on the 3D Printer
  • Selfies, groupies, and SnapChat filters!

Really, taking SnapChats of everything from a welcome message in the morning, "We are open and ready for business" to and evening snap, "Thanks for the most amazing day!" with pictures of the day throughout.  

Want to learn how to use SnapChat?  Grab a teenager...or....check out these resources:

What will YOU snap?!

Add your school SnapChat information HERE.

Almost all the pictures and videos on my Flickr account from this past school year were all made using SnapChat.  In fact, I created this "year in review" video (below) using all SnapChat pictures and videos.

Below are just a few more pictures from our year with SnapChat.