Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

January 21, 2014

FAITH BRAUTIGAM: Facebook fun starts with you

Visuals can communicate in a single glance.

Kokomo Tribune

---- — “A picture is worth a thousand words.” Sometimes a truism can be plain annoying, but other times it is, well, true. When I look at Kokomo-Howard County Public Library’s Facebook page, I often am reminded of just how much visuals can communicate in a single glance. I am also intrigued by how many different types of purposes are accomplished by the images you see there.

Recently, we ran a series of photos of kids at the library playing with giant Styrofoam “blocks.” It was obvious the blocks were really packaging from something large, and it was equally obvious the kids were being creative, using problem-solving skills, staying out of their parents’ hair, and having a ball.

Visual idea-sharing is efficient, telling more in a second or two than you or I could learn in a much longer period of time with text alone. A quick glance at one photo can often separate the I-really-might-try-that-someday ideas from the not-up-my-alley ideas. Our photos of kids playing with packing material not only spread an idea, but also showed some of the fun waiting at the library for families.

Other visuals we share have other purposes. Some of my favorites are the ones that aim to make you laugh. Recently, the weather has provided ample fodder for light-hearted visuals. From a comic about the grocery store stampede that precedes any big storm to the photo of the hitchhiking snowman holding a sign that reads “Florida,” humor is appreciated by our readers. Comic relief appeals to almost everyone, and it also helps you get to know us as an organization. The visuals we post that tickle your funny bone tell you, “We don’t take ourselves too seriously. We like to have fun, too.”

Some of the best images you will see when you are our Facebook fan, though, begin with you. When you share your photos with us, you have sent them out into the wide world of the Internet, where there is that slim possibility that they could have 15 minutes of fame. At the very least, you have made our Facebook page a two-way street, which we like very much. One of our Facebook friends and her family used the recent snow to create a pair of snow people who were the ultimate Colts fanatics. The Kokomo Tribune also featured a photo of the snow-couple, and from one source or another it came to the attention of a Colts’ publicity representative who sent along a message for the family. We are honored to have been a part of this family’s fun. Some of my favorite images from KHCPL’s Facebook page started with you.

If you, like me, think there are times when a picture can be worth a thousand words, it’s time for you to look us up on Facebook. If you haven’t taken the plunge yet into the world of social networking, it’s easy, and we’d be glad to share the basics with you at the library reference desk. We might even take your photo while you’re there.

Faith Brautigam is director of the Kokomo-Howard County Public Library. Contact her at fbrautigam@khcpl.org.