by Amy Barlow
*Insta.zibit /ˈin(t)-stə ˈzi-bət/ n. An exhibit created in under 30 minutes using Instagram. [Latin instans – urgent, end of the semester, pressure, get it done].
What you need to make an Insta.zibit:
- Physical or virtual real estate, on which you may mount an exhibit of images and books.
- iOS device or Android and the Instagram app.
- Students willing to have their images plastered all over the library and online (easy!).
- Publicity release forms, at the ready, to authorize the use of the images. I always keep a stack of blank forms in a folder near my desk.
- 30 minutes.
With less than an hour to spare during finals week, I had a job to do: Design and produce fresh virtual and physical exhibits to celebrate the end of the academic year and spruce-up the Library for commencement. To do this, I grabbed a bunch of eager community college students, asked them to name their favorite authors and books, enlisted the help of a student worker to nab the titles from the shelves, and used Instagram on my iPad to snap headshots. I allowed each student to select the photo-finish that he or she liked best as a way of ensuring that students were proud of their images. I printed and mounted the photos in our exhibit space, alongside books, while loading a similar slideshow on our website and Facebook. Voilà! Insta.zibit!!
Students led their friends to the Library to show-off their photos and book selections, and many of them shared the slideshow on Facebook, where comments tended toward reading recommendations.