North Carolina State University (NCSU) Libraries are making available a free, open-source solution—called lentil—that enables libraries and other organizations to build, moderate, administer, and display collections of photographs posted to Instagram. The software was inspired by the opening of the James B. Hunt Jr. Library in January 2013. The NCSU Libraries wanted to find a way for NC State students, researchers, and community members to share their reactions to the new building, a “library of the future” designed around collaborative spaces and visually inspiring work areas. The libraries created the My #HuntLibrary website, where the lentil software collects and displays Instagram photos tagged #HuntLibrary.
The core of the code for the My #HuntLibrary project is available in the lentil package. Lentil can:
- Harvest image files and metadata from Instagram
- Allow an administrator to moderate and add items to the collection
- Create an interactive, responsive browsing platform with multiple browsing alternatives
- Allow users to select their favorite images by “liking” photos or voting them higher in the image stream by comparing them in a “battle” vote
- Submit agreements to contributors to request their permission to reuse images for additional promotional or research purposes