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Emoji Book Love

Bitmojis took over the library's signage this week.
Bitmojis took over the library’s signage this week.

Sometimes laughter can be soothing to the soul, and this past week my fellow children’s librarians and I used Bitmojis to lighten up our lives. Now, Bitmojis and Bitstrips have been around for some time, but this week everyone seemed especially thankful for the ability to carefully craft a cartoon avatar of themselves sticking out of a cornucopia. In addition to adding the feature to our library’s Snapchat posts, we’re thinking of as many ways to incorporate Bitmojis into marketing displays.

Emojis have become a part of everyday communication, and have made it easy to express thoughts, emotions, and share activities with only a few key clicks. So how can these expressions be used in the library? Children and teen librarians have already incorporated the art of the emoji into programming with ideas like creating emoji bookmark corners or emoji book quizzes. The Kalamazoo Central Library is even having an Emoji Party in December with games, crafts, and snacks. I’m sending a friend of mine to do a little recon.

Can you guess that emoji book title?
Emoji book Quiz! Can you guess the above emoji book title?

One of the most inventive and brilliant uses of emojis in libraries is New York Public Library’s Emoji Bot @NYPLEmoji. The project allows patrons to tweet their favorite emojis and the bot will send a corresponding image from NYPL’s Digital Collections. Emoji lovers can easily fall down a rabbit hole of reading through the emoji bot, but see if you can guess which famous emoji this image represents.

Since books elicit various emotions, emojis are the perfect way to visually share book recommendations. We created emoji bookmarks in lieu of stickered spines, so that patrons can navigate the new book display and grab the latest romance or thriller. One librarian in Texas has even used emojis to help students share genre booktalks.

There are endless ways to highlight emojis in the library, so whatever the occasion, put on a smile (or some heart eyes) and have fun with your book displays and programs this month.

Claire Moore is the Head of Children and Teen Services at Darien Library in Darien, CT. She can be reached at

Visit the Digital Media Resources page to find out more about navigating your way through the evolving digital landscape.

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