Invercargill City Library's 'synchronised book shelving' a hit during Rio Olympics
A humorous social media strategy by staff at the Invercargill City Library, launched in a bid to "remove the stigma of libraries being boring", is attracting global interest.
Whether it's videos of Synchronised Book Shelving or a stunt mimicking shirtless Tongan flagbearer Pita Nikolas Taufatofua, staff at the small library have been boosting its awareness in a unique way.
Library graphic designer Sam Ruffell said "there's more to libraries than books."
This week a video made by staff to celebrate the Rio Olympics has become an international sensation, receiving over 538K views.
The video, a spoof of synchronised swimming, has been featured on The Huffington Post and The Telegraph.
The video only took a few hours to make and it was not expected to go worldwide.
"We kind of made it as we went," Ruffell said.
Ruffell said the library was trying to remove the stigma of libraries being boring.
Library community connections co-ordinator Jay Coote said the library was "not trying to take everything seriously".
In another Olympic stunt, Coote covered himself in baby oil and held the New Zealand flag outside the library to mimic shirtless Tongan flagbearer Pita Nikolas Taufatofua.
The synchronised book shelving video seemed to attract a lot of American librarians, who shared the video with their friends, Coote said.
Since the video was posted on the library's Facebook page 'likes' had upped by 33 per cent, from 2400 likes to 3500 likes, he said.
The caption on the video says synchronised shelving should be an Olympic sport.
The Huffington Post agreed, and their online article says the colleagues "definitely won gold in our hearts".
Ruffell and library digital content coordinator Eve Moodie would have their last day at the library on September 15.
Ruffell said it was exciting to have the international success right before they left.
Last year they made a video, dubbed Library Lightsabers, to celebrate the release of Star Wars in December, which has been viewed over 100,000 times.