Library Social Media Connects Students

Sharitz%27s+Instagram+features+books+for+upcoming+holidays%2C+inspirational+quotations+and+announcements.

Media by @mhslibrariansharitz, Instagram

Sharitz’s Instagram features books for upcoming holidays, inspirational quotations and announcements.

After awaiting the perfect cookbook to recreate recipes with her family, Junior Kami Matthews finally encountered the ideal cookbook: Teen Cuisine by Matthew Locricchio. 

“I was able to try new foods that I haven’t before and to spend more time with my family when cooking,” Matthews said. “It was nice to eat different meals than the ones we usually make.”

However, the method in which Matthews heard about this cookbook was new to the MHS Library this year: Instagram. 

Matthews anticipates that other students will benefit from the Library’s new Instagram page, @mhslibrariansharitz.

The owner of this page, Brittany Sharitz, head librarian, said the Instagram page plays a role in the overall connection between the Library and students. 

“I think students who are following my Instagram account are much more informed on the events and new materials in the Library than students who don’t follow me,” Sharitz said. “It takes less effort on a student’s part to follow me than it does to continuously check the Library website or read emails we could send.”

Normally, the Instagram posts include motivational quotes from books, seasonal book stacks, event details and book reviews. Also new to the Library and featured on Instagram are the various take-home kits that have been offered as well as the inaugural Feature Teacher book clubs.

It can be difficult not seeing everyone we’re used to interacting with on a daily basis during the school year.”

— Brittany Sharitz, MHS Librarian

For example, the DIY Candy Sushi Take-home kit has been a big success, Sharitz said. The Library received 10 requests in the first two days, and most of the requests were from Instagram followers. The most recent take-home kit includes a DIY Yarn Craft Kit in which students can “learn to knit or crochet,” according to the Instagram post.

In addition to improvements in the online spaces, the Library staff also has improved the physical collection to make it more accessible and appealing to the students. The staff has weeded out old books and replaced them with new ones as well as reorganized the collection based on genre. 

Sharitz said these processes have provided opportunities for an improvement to the collection as well as enhance the productivity of the overall system.

Whether students decide to stay out of the Library or venture in, I have no doubt that the librarians will continue to push out new materials and find new and exciting ways to get students involved in reading.”

— Laura Marie Coverstone, language arts teacher

“It can be difficult not seeing everyone we’re used to interacting with on a daily basis during the school year,” Sharitz said. “[But] this way, my students know what I’m reading, what materials the Library is purchasing, events we’re promoting, and I enjoy seeing what content students like.”

Laura Marie Coverstone, language arts teacher, said these unprecedented times have also seen new opportunities for the students in the form of Library activities. 

“This year, students were able to interact with a virtual Library and participate in a wide-range of activities that were catered to their interests and social platforms,” Coverstone said. “Many of my students said they loved the various activities that they could participate in and learned a lot.” 

Coverstone also has found the Library and the staff helpful for book recommendations, information on how to access online copies of books and how to obtain a public Library card. 

“The Library staff has done a fantastic job of providing students with so many virtual options,” Coverstone said. “Whether students decide to stay out of the Library or venture in, I have no doubt that the librarians will continue to push out new materials and find new and exciting ways to get students involved in reading.”