Belk Library hosts Instagram photography contest

Ryan Morris

Belk Library and Information Commons staff has extended the deadline for entry into the “Belk Library Through My Eyes” Instagram photo contest to May 5 due to a lack of a full range of library experiences, said Amanda Bird, librarian in the Belk library and contest organizer.

The event intends to convey personal interest and involvement about how students use the library’s facilities.

“It’s your favorite study area, your favorite book,” Bird said.

Organizers hope that the contest will create interest in seeing the library as a personal space rather than a public one. They are looking to see the kinds of work that goes on in the library, with an emphasis on the “information commons” aspect of the name as a facility for students to interact and learn together.

“Working here as staff, we have our own ideas about the library and what’s special about it, but the contest frames it in a different way,” technical library assistant Jonathan Priest said. “We want the entries to show collaboration or activities that we may not think of as staff members.”

The two got the idea from a similar contest hosted by North Carolina State University and asked for permission to use the same idea.

The contest is open to the public with a $50 gift card to the University Bookstore as a prize.

The winner’s photograph will be used in promotional materials for the library.

“We have a lot of beautiful pictures of the library itself, but we really want to capture students working and how they use the library and these resources,” Bird said.

The platform that Instagram offers allows for students to quickly and easily express themselves while in the library without the effort of editing a traditional photo for emphasis. The snapshot nature of these photos is intended to capture the feel of the moment quickly and easily.

To enter, students can take a photo using the Instagram application and upload it with the hashtag #BelkLibraryContest, along with a description or a caption. Others can “like” their favorite images for the library’s public relations committee to take into consideration when they choose the winning snapshot. The winner will then be notified via comment on their photo.

The contest is open to the public and runs through May 5. To see entries and find out more information about the contest, visit

Story: LOVEY COOPER, Senior A&E Reporter