Photography Fun in the Library

Photography Press Pass and Camera

As an ongoing effort to incorporate various opportunities for creative forms of documentation and self expression for children in the library, I recently added a photography provocation that can be used anytime by kids during regular library visits.

Fun, right? Here’s how it works.

Young library visitors can ask to be the “Official Kid Photographer” for a 1o-minute session, which we keep track of using a browser timer. And really, I only use the time limit if multiple children want to use the camera. The librarian working the desk equips the young photojournalist with an easy-to-use, drop-safe camera, a Press Pass badge to wear, and then the child is off  to capture the world around them.

library photo gallery


A random selection of photos taken by kids are hung up in our Library Photo Gallery display for all to enjoy. In the near-ish future,  a digital picture frame will join this display and stream a slide show of the photos taken. If a child is especially fond of a picture, it is printed out for them to keep. From the start, this photography activity has been quite popular with patrons and is a great tool for visual literacy, practicing  hand-eye coordination, and introducing the concept of documentation. It also provides kids with a sense of ownership of their library when they see their photographs proudly displayed.

library photography station

 Do you offer visual literacy activities in the library? If so, please share!


3 Responses to “Photography Fun in the Library”

  1. Rebecca says:

    First, your blog is so inspiring–such engaging ideas. Our library requires a photo release signed by parents. How would you suggest handling that? Would the “photographer” ask for the people to sign the release or would you suggest not photographing people?

    • Rebecca says:

      Hi Rebecca! Are your photo release forms for the use of pictures in social media? The library were I work has a sign in the room that cautions patrons frequenting the space of the likelihood of pictures being taken and posted to social media via the library staff and patrons, BUT that said all pictures taken by children are not posted to social media. They’re printed and displayed in the Children’s Room in the library. After a child asks to use the camera, I give a short explanation of how to use the camera and also am sure to tell the child that it is courteous to ask to take someone’s picture if you do not know them. I’m the one that sifts through all the images and only put up images of patrons that look posed for the camera. In the near future, we’ll install a digital picture frame soon but the photos rotated will also be combed through and regulated. So, I guess it all comes down to what you plan on doing with the pictures. If you want to post them to social media and/or your library’s policy is to obtain a photo release from, then it might be a good idea to have patron’s photographed to sign a form. We don’t feel it is necessary since our library has a posted disclaimer, the photos stay in the library (are not posted to social media platforms), and we regulate the photos displayed.

      Thank you for your kinds words. I’m inspired by the people in this profession daily and it’s my hope that this little space on the interweb helps give back to that whirlpool of ways to engage kids in the library. Thanks again :)


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