Instagram and NYC Public Library launch Insta Novels

NYC Public Library has adapted the entirety of Alice in Wonderland into an ebook within the Instagram Stories feature

23Aug

NYC Public Library has leveraged Instagram's "Stories" feature to create a new medium of story conveyance, "Insta Novels". The library has converted the entirety of Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland into a visually dynamic ebook which can freely be read and shared.

Instagram Stories is an Instagram feature which allows users to add video and pictures in a manner that can be perused by followers of an account for up to 24 hours after posting. It is this feature that the NYC Public Library has leveraged to create Insta Novels. It has turned static pages into videos which, when pressed down upon, pauses the screen and when the right or left side of the screen is pressed, allows you to skip forward or back a page through the book.


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While most of the pages are just static words on a page, both the tutorial video and some of the more visually dynamic pages have been created by New York-based advertising agency Mother which has also freely donated its resources to help the project's development.

The library hopes to add more books to its Instagram-based collection, with two books held in the public domain already announced: The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka and Charlotte Perkins Gilman's The Yellow Wallpaper.

However, not everybody is happy with the library's decision. The Citizens Defending Libraries group is one such group whose grievance with the project is that it believes libraries are meant to be physical spaces where books collections are curated and shared. The chief branch library officer for the New York library Christopher Platt disagreed, commenting, "We want people to understand that libraries aren’t just those brick-and-mortar places full of dusty books."

You can read the very first Insta Novel here on the library's Instagram page.

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