Creating meme images

Nedstark-braceyourselvesDid you ever wonder how those "meme" images you see in your Facebook feed are created? The different types of Internet memes are too numerous to list here - there's Grumpy Cat, Ryan Gosling, lolcats and other various animals, Star Trek, etc. etc. It's difficult to track down the origin of popular meme images, although there is a database dedicated to documenting Internet memes, including photos, videos, catchprases, etc. 

Once an image has gone viral, anyone can create a customized meme using various websites. You go to the website, select an image, and enter your text. You can then download the captioned image and post it to Facebook, Pinterest, etc. Some meme captions are snarky, but they don't have to be snarky. Libraries could use memes as a fun way to communicate information via social media. Closed-jan1

Here are a few websites that you can use to create memes. Note: this is not an exhaustive list:

Pinterest Place Pins

Pinterest has a new feature that I think has potential for libraries--- Pinterest Place Pins allow a map to to be added to a Pinterest board and pins to be added to that map using integration with Foursquare and other partner sites.

PinterestBoardHere's a link to one of my regular Pinterest boards, "Library and book stuff." It contains lots of pins I found interesting-- but no related map. (Tip: if you're prompted to join Pinterest when viewing the board, you can dismiss that window by pressing Esc)

Now here's a link to a board I created of some of my favorite places... Place Pins: SCLS LibrariesSouth Central Library System libraries! To clarify, ALL the South Central Library System libraries are my favorites, of course, but for this example I only added Place Pins for those libraries that already had pictures on FourSquare. (Tip: Older versions of IE may not display the map.)

Now... it seems like there are some possibilities here! Users might pin your library as a place they like to visit, a good place to go with kids, etc.  For example, New York City Public Library gets a listing on this "Free and almost free in NYC" Pinterest board. Libraries might create boards with links to resources in the community or even just other places of interest. Check out this Today post with step-by-step instructions for using Place Pins and an example of Place Pins using sunsets submitted by viewers.

From a social media and marketing standpoint, this might be one more reason to claim your library's location on FourSquare -- a click-through from Pinterest has the potential to bring new visitors to your website or to your building with correct URL, address, phone, and hours information from FourSquare! A lot of sites are already pointing out the potential for businesses, bed & breakfasts, restaurants, and more. I think libraries could be in the mix-- what do you think?

Side note: One of my favorite parts about writing this post was seeing the variety of pictures and tips that FourSquare users added for the libraries. Fun!

Not so neat after all

Last week I saw a story posted about “The Faces of Facebook”, a site where you can see a picture of what looks like nothing more than a screen of static with a counter.  Each one of those dots of “static” actually represents one of the accounts on Facebook.  Kind of neat, right?

If you zoom in on the static, it actually loads the individual profile pictures.  As a Facebook user I know my profile picture isn’t private.  At least it's not embarrassing or anything, unlike some of them. 

If you hover the mouse over their profile picture it shows which member number they are and the person’s name.  And if you click on the picture the article says it takes you to their public profile on Facebook.  Should you do actually click on a picture and log into Facebook, it asks you to give tfof (The Faces of Facebook I assume) access to your public profile and friends list so it can show you where you and your friends are in the static.

This got me to thinking.  That's a lot of information, especially for people who haven't restricted what's in their public profile.  Now in the article I read, the person behind "The Faces of Facebook"site says it doesn’t store anyone’s private information, pictures or names.  But what if someone else does something like this and keeps the data?  If you'll excuse me, I think I'll go double check my Facebook settings.

Interesting tidbits

  • "How to Make Library eBooks More Visible"* (GoodEReader) - Simple suggestions for promoting your ebook collection.
  • "Mousercise!"*  (IFLS) - A link to Mousercise, an online exercise to increase familiarity with using a computer mouse, and an excerpt from an interview about technology training with Mousercise founder, Chris Rippel.
  • "Use Bing to find Public Domain Images"*  (Free Technology for Teachers) - Need pictures? It's easy to find public domain images using Bing. When did you last use one of these?
  • "Reference Question of the Week - 7/14/2013" (Swiss Army Librarian)  How do you answer the reference question, "Where can I find a pay phone in town?" Crowdsource it using social media!

*Thanks to IFLS and Sites and Soundbytes for pointing out these great resources!

More on Pinterest & libraries

Convert your existing accountBefore Pinterest offered business accounts, many libraries signed up with personal accounts. If you did, you can convert your personal library account to a business account.

  1. Log in to your existing personal account
  2. Go to
  3. Click on "Convert your existing account"
  4. Follow the steps and complete the process

Warning: Once you convert your personal account to a business account, you will not be able to switch it back to a personal account.

If you're thinking about using Pinterest Web analytics, make sure your account is converted to a business account before you do the verification. Otherwise, you may end up doing the verification twice!

Why convert your library's account to a business account?

  • To comply with Pinterest's Terms of Service
  • You can use your library's whole name as it should be (no more needing to split it between the "first" and "last" name fields)
  • Within its business site, Pinterest is adding educational materials specifically for businesses to learn how to market themselves.
  • Pinterest is working on a whole new set of features exclusively for businesses to help them expand their reach and understand their Pinterest audience

Source: Social Media Examiner - "Pinterest Business Accounts: The Definitive Guide to Getting Started"

Interested in more information about using Pinterest for your library? Check out the February "Know More" webinar with special guest Joy Schwarz talking about "Pinterest and Libraries"  (30-min archived program). It was a great overview of Pinterest and had lots of ideas about how you can use Pinterest for your library. For example, did you know there's a Pinterest widget builder for business accounts that you can embed on your library's website to invite people to follow your boards? I didn't!

Already using Pinterest for library-related purposes?  Please take a few minutes to fill out a short survey about how you're using it!

Facebook Page Insights

The librarians I know love to count things and keep statistics.  "we circ'ed 1,051 items today," "we had 246 wireless sessions last month," "we received 372 red delivery baskets last week"... sound familiar? Insights (click to view full-size)

If your library has a Facebook page, you have access to all sorts of lovely stats about that page. Just take a peek at the "Insights" section of the admin panel (click on the photos in this post to view them full-size).

What will you find?

  • Overview - gives you 4 metrics to help you quickly understand the size and engagement of your audience, with indications of whether these numbers went up or down. There is also information about your page's posts and what sort of response they've received from Fans.
  • Likes - demographic and location information for your audience, and information about how you acquired, reached, or engaged them. (Looks like 78% of SCLS' fans are female and 20% are male!)
  • Reach - information about who you reached, how you reached them, your page views over time, and how those views break down
  • Talking About This* - demographic and location information about people talking about your page and information about whether they were talking about your page or being reached by someone else talking about it
  • Check-Ins* - info about people who have checked in at your place and how they did it (mobile device? through the Facebook website?).

Nifty.  Now what do you do with this data? Probably the easiest things to do are to:

Take a quick peek at the SCLS page's Overview:
Insights-Overview (click to view full-size)
Interested in more in-depth information about Facebook Page Insights? Facebook's 15-page PDF will help you "understand the performance of your page, optimize how you publish to your audience so people will tell their friends about you, and learn more about your audience." (It also includes much better explanations and details than we can provide here on TechBits!)

* Demographic and location data for these features is only available when 30 people did this activity in the 7 days preceding the last day of your selected date range. If your page is busy, you'll see this info. If not, you won't.

Historical library pictures

Do you have historical pictures of your library? Here are 2 great ways to share them! 

Historypin Historypin - map

Historypin is "a project that allows people to view and share their personal history in a new way, created by the social movement We Are What We Do in partnership with Google."

Historypin - historic photo + modern-day street view!Users can pin photo, audio and video content and tie it to geographical locations -- map meets content! Anyone can add descriptive or narrative text to photographic, audio or video content that has been "pinned" to the map.

Users can also create "Tours" which lead you step-by-step through a series of pieces of content via a narrative that links them together, or "Collections", which are clusters of content around a particular theme.  See Historypin's FAQ for more specifics about the site.

A few of our libraries already have historical pictures on Historypin courtesy of the Wisconsin State Historical Society.


Facebook milestones extend the NYT's timeline on the right of the pageWith the arrival of the "Timeline" format for Pages, libraries now have the opportunity to add milestones (key moments they'd like to highlight) to their Facebook pages. Historical milestones will extend the little timeline on the right of the page.

What type of milestones might you add? Check out this post, "Creating Facebook Milestones: A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words" for some ideas. Photos definitely liven up milestones--- just sign in to Facebook and click on older timeline dates for the New York Times or Coca-Cola to see some in action!

Looking for examples from other libraries? Aaron Tay has a nice description of what his (academic) library did with milestones and historical photos in this post on his Musings About Librarianship blog.


What do you do with historical photos of your library?

Is your library ready for Facebook's Timeline?

Fitchburg Public Library on FacebookFrom what I've been reading, Facebook Timeline is coming to all brand pages (whether you're ready or not) on March 30. Is your library ready?

Here are some links to posts that talk about Timeline for pages.

Prefer videos?  Try Facebook - New Pages:  Customizing Your Page , which covers cover photos, profile pictures, the "about" section, links to other parts of page (photos, likes, etc), pinning posts to the top of your page, and creating milestones.

Have you already transitioned your library's Facebook page to Timeline? What do you think of the new layout and features?

Everybody Let's Jump (For Your Library)

Ran across this great example of a library using social media for fundraising and advocacy! Too cute not to post (and share, and talk about, and donate), right? Nicely done!

Watch the video on YouTube

Q & A about communications

I saw this request in one of the Library Visit reports:  "We would like to see a Communications tab or icon that links to everything - blogs, wikis, etc." Blogs, Wikis & More

We have this!

On the main webpage, up near the top, there is a link to "Blogs, Wikis & More".


Blogs, Wikis & More (detail)What will you find there? A list of links and descriptions for SCLS blogs and wikis, as well as links to Continuing Education recordings, the SCLS and LINKcat Facebook accounts, photo albums, and more!