Instagram is a great way to advocate for your school library by posting images of library activities. It gives a great impression of your library as visitors can see actual photos of the events. If you have a library Instagram account, stretch the influence of that account to your library website where other visitors, students, and teachers can view the images as well.
Finding the Right Tool
There are a few tools to embed an Instagram account in your school library website, but not many are free. I can find only one free tool that works with any type of website (WordPress, Libguides, Sharepoint and other types of sites).
LightWidget provides a free option with lots of customization like choosing the number of photos and placement of images as horizontal or vertical. Choose a slideshow, grid, or Pinterest-like format. This is the tool I use with our library website (www.bvwlib.com).
To use LightWidget, begin by creating an account. You will log in with your Instagram account and Authorize Lightwidget to use your Instagram photos.
Fill in the boxes to customize.
Filter your photos by tag: This is optional. Add the hashtags you want to see in your posts. For example, if you only want the items about books, start by adding #books hashtag to your reading focused posts. Only #books will appear on your website.
Type of Widget: There are three options for the type of widget to be embedded into your website:
- Columns (Pinterest style)
You can choose the number of columns and photos for each option.
Image Hover Effect: Optional
Padding: Amount of white space between images.
Image Size and Font Size: It is set to a default number. Adjust according to your needs.
Click Action: When a user clicks on the image, choose the action of going to the post on Instagram, loading your Instagram profile, or no action.
To adjust the size of the grid, drag the orange handles located around the images.
Click Preview to see all changes. Adjust the items as needed.
Once you get the desired result, click GET CODE.
Copy the code.
Paste the entire code in the HTML section of your website.
Not sure where to paste the code? Check with your website provider for help documents.
Let us know your library Instagram account in the comments below so others can follow you.
Author: Becca Munson
Becca Munson, Librarian, is a National Board Certified Teacher with over 23 years of experience in education. She is currently a school librarian at Blue Valley West High School in Overland Park, KS. Becca continues to find ways to positively impact student learning with literacy initiatives, technology integration, and building rapport with students and staff. Follow her on Twitter to view the library in action @bvwlibrary and @beccamunson .