The University Libraries Marketing Committee launched a campaign in Spring 2017 to connect students with their subject librarians and to increase awareness of the role of subject librarians and the services they provide. Trading cards were implemented to do this; they serve as an alternative to business cards and feature Bitmoji, cartoon keyboard avatars. The Bitmoji mobile app has grown 3986% in the past year among adults aged 18 and older, therefore Bitmoji offered a potentially popular and recognizable way to represent subject librarians. Bitmojis are also very versatile: they can be personalized, they offer librarians a digital identity, and they lend themselves to a variety of other formats both physical and digital.
The libraries held a soft launch of the trading cards at a Welcome Back event. Three trading card designs were displayed under the heading “Can you find your subject librarian?” This invited students to engage with staff, to ask questions and to sort through the cards to find their librarian. Many students did not realize their major had a specific librarian they could work with. To add to the fun, librarian Bitmoji buttons were offered. Over 200 students attended the event and most were able to find their subject librarian trading card. The library also distributed more than 50 buttons. After the success of the Welcome Back Event, a larger launch of all subject librarian Bitmojis is forthcoming this spring.
Puzier, Lauren and Norton, Tyler, "Collect Them All: Helping students find their subject librarian with Bitmojis" (2017). University Libraries Faculty Scholarship. 103.