Insta.zibit*

by Amy Barlow

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*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:

  1. Physical or virtual real estate, on which you may mount an exhibit of images and books.
  2. iOS device or Android and the Instagram app.
  3. Students willing to have their images plastered all over the library and online (easy!).
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

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