We are happy to announce that the 2021 New Jersey Library Snapshot Day will begin on February 1st and be held throughout the month of February. Snapshot Day is an annual celebration where the New Jersey library community comes together to document the wonderful people, places, events, materials, and experiences that make up a day in the life of the library.
Snapshot Day started in New Jersey libraries in 2007 as a response to the simple question: “what would happen if libraries went away, even for a day?”
What would be lost? In the beginning, the focus of Snapshot Day was on collecting statistics and pictures of library usage. We have existing means of collecting statistics regarding library usage, and these stats will be shared as infographics throughout the month of February to help you promote the value of libraries to your stakeholders. But the focus of Snapshot Day has shifted to images and stories.
While statistics help quantify what is happening in libraries, stories make these numbers personal. Stories put a human face on library usage that helps legislators, administrators, voters, and other library stakeholders identify with the essential work that New Jersey libraries do every day.
And this mission has a new urgency. Since the COVID-19 pandemic began in March 2020, New Jersey libraries have pivoted, and found innovative and thoughtful ways to continue to meet the needs of communities throughout the Garden State. From virtual story times to curbside pickup and parking lot WiFi, libraries have continued to answer the calls in their communities. Now it’s time to share those stories.
The pictures and stories that you post, share, and submit will help us advocate for increased resources for New Jersey libraries. Statistics help quantify results. But pictures and stories show impact. Library stakeholders throughout the state need to see the impact of library services, so they know what they stand to lose if they do not continue to support and fully fund libraries.
Here is how you can get involved and celebrate Snapshot Day in your library:
Snapshot Day will look a little different this year. People might be wearing masks. You might submit pictures taken in a Zoom event, or outside of the library. Families might send you pictures of a take-home craft. You might have great pictures of outdoor services and programming. And that's OK! The differences are important, because the differences demonstrate the pivot. What is different about this year highlights the critical role that libraries have played during the pandemic in communities across the state.
Thank you for all that you do in your libraries to educate, engage, and enrich the lives of New Jersey residents. Please take this opportunity to collect the pictures and stories of this work, and share with us so that we can better advocate for the resources that your libraries so richly deserve.
Brought to you by the New Jersey Library Association Public Relations Committee and the New Jersey State Library
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