Snapshot Virginia has been a great success in promoting library advocacy. Over two-thirds of public libraries and many academic and special libraries participate.

Snapshot Day is an opportunity for you to collect photos and customer comments to use in your library advocacy. Use these materials in your social media outreach, in flyers and bookmarks, and in budget proposals to illustrate how essential libraries are. Step-by-step instructions and forms for preparing for your Snapshot Day, carrying it out successfully, and sharing your photos with the Snapshot Flickr pool are listed at The instructions for  are on the website. The Flickr password is becauseofapubliclibrary

Snapshot takes place during the month of April. Pick the day that works best for you--will key staff be present? What fabulous programs will be going on? On which days can you get a photographer? If you have multiple locations, there's no need to hold all your Snapshots on a single day.

Reminder that Snapshot is simpler to implement than in previous years. It is no longer necessary to submit statistics on use. Statistics captured in one day are often not representative, and not as useful as those which libraries are already tracking over the entire year. Statistics on circulation, new borrowers, computer use and the like are a compelling way to illustrate how busy and essential libraries are and you are encouraged to continue using those meaningful numbers. Additionally, you do not need to send in your customer comments. The comments you collect during Snapshot can be an excellent example of the emotional connection your customers feel with their library and should be used in your own publicity year-round.

The purpose of Snapshot is to kick-start library advocacy. So turn your collected photos and comments into awesome bookmarks and flyers! Make screensavers and slide shows! You've already done the hard part--you've made your library an essential part of your community--now take the evidence of that commitment and use it to ensure that the public, media, and budgetary decision makers see libraries for the indispensable public service they are.

Questions? Please contact Snapshot Coordinator Sean Bonney at the Central Rappahannock Regional Library.

-updated 1/17/18