Librarian Viktor Sjöberg thought up a unique and effective way to encourage members of his community to sign up for library cards: the selfie.
Sjöberg is the digital services librarian at the Escondido Public Library. One of his responsibilities is managing its social media presence, which is where he got the idea for what he has dubbed the "Sign-up Selfie."
"We wanted to do something for National Library Card Sign-up Month, something that was interactive. Since the selfie was a popular phenomenon, we thought it was a good way to get our patrons to interact with us," says Sjöberg.
How It Works
The premise is simple: after you sign up for a library card (or #GetCarded), walk a few steps to the Selfie Station, and take a photo posing with your new library card.
The iPad at Escondido's Selfie Station instantly deposits the selfies into a Dropbox account. Every day, Sjöberg sifts through the best selfies from the last 24 hours to post on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
"People like to see photos of other people using the library or see staff recommend things or photos of other people," he says.
Without any outside advertising, the result has been an increase in attention from the community as a whole, specifically from younger patrons.
In its first week, the station generated 200 selfies. It's still too early to know the numbers for the whole month. But Sjöberg says that thanks to analytics tools like Facebook Insights, and the total number of new cards, he'll be able to determine exactly how successful the campaign has been.
Sjöberg says the immediate goal is to increase sign-ups from everyone, but the long-term goals are to increase community engagement and show enthusiasm for having a library card.
"Being a library user is the main end-goal," he says. "Doing small things like this will help influence the public's perception of the public library."
National Library Card Sign-up Month runs through the end of September. After the promotion ends, Sjöberg says he plans to repurpose the equipment for a Zinio station, so the investment will continue to benefit the library and its patrons.
Check It Out
Tell Us About Your Library
Are you doing anything fun for National Library Card Sign-Up Month? Tell us about it in the comments!
Images: courtesy of Escondido Public Library