Take Pictures, Tell Stories Part 4: Fun with Photos at Library Events

By Cindi Trainor |
Now that you've learned how to take better photos, what should you take photos of? The obvious answer is to document events and activities in your library, but libraries everywhere are getting creative with their digital cameras and to inspiring users to get creative with theirs.  Here is a sampling of library photo sets on flickr:

A photo booth can accompany any event, whether a summer-reading costume party or library staff day. Use paper or fabric to create a backdrop, which you can accessorize with paper cutouts or printed signs. Be sure to check out Douglas County Libraries' Staff Day 2008 photos, complete with a painted backdrop and pirate costumes.   

A simple paper background or scenic room in your library could serve as the backdrop to a family portrait day event.  Invite users to bring family members and pose with their favorite library materials for special library and family memories.
Staff photos can be taken to give patrons a back-room view of staff operations or to make those who work in our libraries more visible.  Creating a library family photo album to document staff events is a great way to capture workplace memories. 
Photo scavenger hunts are a fun way to get library users to learn about lesser-known library materials and services.  Check out McMaster University's Amazing Library Photo Race set or Darien Library's Teen Photo Scavenger Hunt
No post on library photos would be complete without a few READ posters.  Harper College Library had a READ posters event this year as a part of National Library Week.  Kalamazoo Public Library has several sets of READ (and LEA) posters depicting staff, patrons, library friends and board members and school administrators. Whether you purchase graphics from ALA [samples], use ALA's online READ poster generator or roll your own, READ posters are a fun way to engage people and get the word out about your library. There are even state government websites showing local officials in their own READ posters.  What a great way to show support for your library!

Know of another fun way to use a camera in the library?  Leave a comment below.

Up Next: Turning Images into Objects

About the Series

Last summer, I had the pleasure and privilege of participating in a LITA Preconference session with Michael Porter and Helene Blowers titled, "A Thousand Words: Taking Better Photos for Telling Stories in Your Library."  Michael and Helene shared great tips for using and reusing photos to record and relate the stories of our libraries and our communities, and I explained and illustrated the basic principles of photography, and that pictures can be improved by understanding how these principles work together to produce a properly exposed image. There was a ton of content shared over the day; over the next few months, the “Take Pictures, Tell Stories @ Our Libraries” series will share some of this and other photo-related content with TechSource readers.