Acquiring these [fan] collections — and opening them up online for all the world to see — are good examples of how libraries need to adapt to the opportunities presented in the 21st century or risk losing the cultural authority they’ve enjoyed for centuries.
Instagram is a very popular mobile photo sharing app that’s currently being used by over 80 million users. It was acquired by Facebook earlier this year, so it’s something that’s going to be around for some time. Instagram allows you to put all sorts of filters and effects on images and then share them with your network and the world. Here are ten ideas for ways you could use this immensely popular app for your library:
August 24, 1951 With manager Zack Taylor sitting in a rocking chair atop the dugout, St. Louis Browns fans get a chance to manage the team. Bill Veeck’s “Fans Managers’ Night” allows fans to pick the starting lineup, and 1,000 fans behind home plate are given Yes/No signs to vote on options given to them — things like “INFIELD BACK?” and “SHALL WE WARM UP THE PITCHER?” A circuit judge tallies the votes and relays instructions to the third base coach. The fans manage the Browns to a 5-3 win over the Philadelphia Athletics.
Baseball and social media before social media was a thing!
Some dead writers simply shouldn’t tweet. J. D. Salinger was too reclusive; Hemingway would have seen it as needy; Faulkner would have balked at the character limit. Yet all three have accounts, certainly unauthorized and perhaps against their dead wills. But think too of those writers who would have delighted us had they churned out a steady stream of 140-character missives. The pithy zings of Dorothy Parker and Oscar Wilde? Plath, baring her soul? They all have Twitter accounts too.
Despite this lively back and forth, living authors win out here as well. I searched for dead authors on Twitter who could come close to the likes of Neil Gaiman (1.8 million followers) and Colson Whitehead (131,000) — but found none. Even Shakespeare (“Brevity is the soul of wit”) inspires a relatively lonesome 31,000.
But why all the God-forsaken ranking, anyway? When did literature become a high school ballot for king and queen of the literary prom? And was my obsession wholly about the preservation of the classics, or was it tinged by something a little less high-minded? Look, I am well aware of my lowly social rank online, and you shouldn’t trust a novelist during what could be a literary midlife (or midlist) crisis.