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This paper explores the potential for Snapchat to act as an advocacy tool for academic librarians. Snapchat is a social media app that allows users to send videos, drawings, images, and more. The researcher, a User Engagement Librarian at an academic library, was curious about the potential to use Snapchat as an advocacy tool, a tool to gauge current library attitudes, stereotypes, and perceptions, and an opportunity for feedback. In an attempt to challenge the assumptions about academic librarianship, the author used the app to engage with followers through a series of shared videos and images depicting a variety of library-related topics, and utilized a pre and post-test. Answers provided will provide insight into the general perception that Snapchat users have regarding academic libraries, and can provide librarians with key areas of advocacy on which to focus.
In the fall of 2017, the librarian-researcher set out to examine if Snapchat can be a useful tool in reducing librarian stereotypes, and as a way of raising awareness of librarians and library services. Snapchat was specifically selected due to its more recent arrival to the social media scene. The goals for my research were two-fold: to investigate whether this social media platform could allow librarians to enhance library awareness and reduce library stereotyping. Secondly, researchers hoped that the data gathered from the pre and posttests could identify areas in which the IU Southeast Library was doing well, and areas it could improve.