'Bookface' social media campaign sparks new energy at Ascension Parish Libraries By: Lauren Westbrook and Mykal Vincent | Nov. 20, 2019

If a picture is worth a thousand words, Joyce Sigler’s collection will soon be worth millions. The words on the pages of the books she photographs could use more love in the Ascension Parish Library System. In 2017, the community coordinator joined other librarians across the country in posting what are called “bookfaces” on social media.

“It's a very daunting task to start up a whole social media campaign from nothing so I started with something that I thought would be simple," Sigler said.

“Bookface Friday” has now become a labor of love for Sigler and others who work at the library like Alyssa Devall. She models in some of the Instagram and Facebook posts.

“I’ve worked in this library off and on since I was a teenager so this place is very special to me,” Devall said. “It was my first job.”

Alyssa Devall poses carefully as Joyce captures the perfect "bookface."

Every week, the librarians spend anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour perfecting an extension of the cover art of popular books. Their hope is to reach a younger generation of readers in a more familiar, digital space.

“We did an Adele one that had a really great response. I really love using my cat. People seem to like book faces with animals.”

Now, Sigler says patrons ask about the photos and the books. People from all over the world are liking and sharing them on social media. Even New York Times bestselling author, Dean Koontz liked one of the pictures of his books on the library’s Instagram page.

“I was just over the moon about that,” Sigler said.

"With these photos, I just try to pass on the idea that the library is more than just a place of books. It's a place where you can meet with your friends, to start an organization, to create a work of art."

She says the next step is to put the call out for readers to submit their own “bookface” pictures and to hold a contest.