On Tuesday, the American Library Association—the library world’s premier professional organization—awarded its prestigious Cutting Edge Technology Service Award to the NCSU Libraries’ My #HuntLibrary social media program. The ALA’s Cutting Edge Technology Service Award is presented annually to libraries that offer innovative, inventive, and interactive technologies to their communities.
Simply by capturing a moment in the library with Instagram and tagging the photo with #HuntLibrary, a community member’s image can become part of the NCSU Libraries’ digital archive and may be displayed on the huge video walls in the library itself. By offering community members the opportunity to dynamically share their engagement and enjoyment with the library, My #HuntLibrary enables the community to participate in the library’s opening and ongoing story. Further, My #HuntLibrary provides a unique bridge between digital and physical spaces as community members may gather in front of the image exhibition in the library and discuss display and other design concepts.
Since it launched in early 2013, My #HuntLibrary has received more than 3,200 images from more than 1,300 distinct users, and recorded more than 235,000 page views. This winter the Libraries made the platform behind My #HuntLibrary available as free open source software so that any library in the world can now easily develop their own Instagram-based tools.
The ALA has honored the NCSU Libraries with the award twice before, in 2010 for the Course Tools application that automates creation of easy-to-find library resources for every class at the university and in 2011 for its redesigned website.