May 28, 2022

Journal Article: “Likes, Comments, Views a Content Analysis of Academic Library Instagram Posts”

The article linked below was recently published by Information Technology and Libraries (ITAL).


Likes, Comments, Views a Content Analysis of Academic Library Instagram Posts


Jylisa Doney
University of Idaho

Olivia Wikle
University of Idaho

Jessica Martinez
University of Idaho


Information Technology and Libraries (ITAL)
Vol 39, No 3 (2020)
DOI: 10.6017/ital.v39i3.12211


This article presents a content analysis of academic library Instagram accounts at eleven land-grant universities. Previous research has examined personal, corporate, and university use of Instagram, but fewer studies have used this methodology to examine how academic libraries share content on this platform and the engagement generated by different categories of posts. Findings indicate that showcasing posts (highlighting library or campus resources) accounted for more than 50 percent of posts shared, while a much smaller percentage of posts reflected humanizing content (emphasizing warmth or humor) or crowdsourcing content (encouraging user feedback). Crowdsourcing posts generated the most likes on average, followed closely by orienting posts (situating the library within the campus community), while a larger proportion of crowdsourcing posts, compared to other post categories, included comments. The results of this study indicate that libraries should seek to create Instagram posts that include various types of content while also ensuring that the content shared reflects their unique campus contexts. By sharing a framework for analyzing library Instagram content, this article will provide libraries with the tools they need to more effectively identify the types of content their users respond to and enjoy as well as make their social media marketing on Instagram more impactful.

Direct to Full Text Article
15 pages; PDF.

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.