Daily Kos Image Library: Opening the IL and uploading images

The Daily Kos Image Library (IL) is a repository or archive of images that have been uploaded by site members for use on our site. 

This resource explains how to upload an image; how to add/edit metadata such as an attribution, description, and tags; how to change the site license for an image; and how to delete your images. Related resources (currently under development; to be posted soon) explain how to use an image in a story or comment and how to search the Image Library.

Please note:  "How to use the Daily Kos Image Library" is a related resource that links to a captioned YouTube video providing a short overview of how to use the library, including a walk-through of the process of embedding an image in a story or comment. This text builds on that brief introduction to offer many more details about the effective use of the Image Library itself. The information below is much more thorough than the video; for most users, the video will supply all the information needed to get you started.

Ready for a deep dive? If so, please read on.

All site members have the ability to upload images to the Image Library. All site members are also able to use images uploaded by other site members that appear in the Public Library.

The Image Library includes no image-editing tools, and a user cannot alter the display size for a given image when it is embedded in a story or comment.  Accordingly, an image should be named, cropped, or otherwise edited as desired prior to uploading. The Library accepts only .jpg, .png, or .gif file formats and image files must be smaller than 20 MB.

Images hosted on Flickr or Imageshack may still be embedded directly into stories and comments, via the Embed tool. But the story image space at the top of any story, which will appear in association with the story's headline, may only be supplied from our own Image Library.

Accessing the Image Library

A logged-in user may reach the Image Library in three main ways. 

  1. Follow this direct link.
  2. Go to the profile menu associated with the username at the top right of the page and click on Image Library.
  3. While drafting a story or comment, click on the Image icon (mountain+sun outline) displayed in the Title Image area (story draft view only) or in the toolbar (story body and comment).

Any of these routes will open the Image Library modal.

The toolbar in the comment editor looks almost identical to the toolbar in the story editor, and in both the same Image icon works to access the library.

Uploading Images to the Image Library

The opening display of the Image Library will show thumbnails of all the images within the Public Library, showing with the most-recently-uploaded in the top left spot of the grid. 

Two options exist for uploading. It is possible to upload multiple images at once, though of course the meta-data must be added to one image at a time.

  1. Click the Upload Image files button to select file(s) from your own computer
  2. Drag-and-drop your file(s) into the designated area. 

Image files must meet both of these requirements to be uploaded:

  1. They must be in either jpg, png, or gif formats.
  2. They must be smaller than 20 MB.

Please note and attend to the request in gray: “Before you upload, please make sure you own this image or have a license to use it publicly.” See also DO NOT #8 of the site's Rules of the Road:

DO NOT Steal photographs. Make sure that you have the rights to post an image when you upload it and attribute your image source whenever possible. Double-check when you use an image from the Image Library. Respect people’s intellectual property. And yes, posting without authorization is stealing from someone’s livelihood. [emphasis added]

 We also ask users not to upload or embed images that graphically depict violence, injury, or death, or those with pornographic content.

Adding/Editing Image Metadata

Once your image is uploaded, you will see its thumbnail in two places: at the left corner of the image grid, with an orange box as a border to indicate it is selected; in the right sidebar, at the top of a number of fields providing image metadata.

Note two more important displays under your newly uploaded image in that sidebar. The filename for the image will be shown, so please consider prior to uploading if it has any information you'd prefer to keep private.

Beneath the image filename, you’ll see the count of the number of times this particular image has been used in a story or comment. At the right, note the trash can, which allows you to delete this image--either now, or at any future time. (If you click on that trash can icon, you will see a confirmation page, a built-in safeguard against accidental deletions.)

Each image acquires one more system-supplied piece of data: a unique image ID, which is visible on hover over the image, either in the thumbnail grid or in the right sidebar.

We encourage you to complete all the available metadata fields. Some data are entered by the system and may not be edited by the user. Please note that Trusted Users are permitted to edit the tags, description, attribution, description, or location of any image in the Public Library section, not only their own uploads. 

Filename: The system records and displays the filename associated with the image at its source. It is not editable within the Image Library, so please do ensure beforehand that it’s what you are comfortable sharing publicly.

Site use: The system will track the number of times an image is used in a story or comment. 

Image ID: Each image has a unique ID, assigned upon upload. The Image ID is how the database logs images. The thumbnail display of images in either version of the library, Public for all or Private, "My Images," for each user, loads images in reverse chronology, newest (and highest Image ID number) in the top left spot. A selected image, displayed with its metadata in the right sidebar, will also show the image ID on hover. Users may search/filter the Image Library based on the Image ID, so it's handy information to have. 

Tags: The Image Library offers the opportunity to tag each image with an unlimited number of tags, or labels, to support searches for the image and to help identify its subject and/or significance. Tags follow similar but not identical formatting restrictions as the tags on stories. Image tags may include letters, numbers, and two special characters mid-tag: internal hyphen (-) or period (.) When you begin to type a tag, previous tags with the same character sequence will be offered, in an effort to maintain some consistency within the system. If you decide against any tag, you may delete it by clicking the x in its display, now or in a later edit.

Dimensions: The image's dimensions, width and height, are shown in pixels. This matters especially when choosing a Title Image for the top of a story. Images smaller than 915 pixels in width will thus acquire this note: (Story Images and full-width images need to be 915 pixels wide to display at full width on all monitors. Smaller images can be used, and will not be stretched, but may look awkward.) . Otherwise, the dimensions of the image do not substantially affect its display within the body of a story or a comment; the built-in editor sets those dimensions. Image size is not editable within the Image Library. 

Attribution: This field is intended to provide appropriate credit for the image. Doing so is more than a courtesy; it is an expectation. Repeating for emphasis:  We ask all site users who contribute images to the Image Library to take care to upload only those images that they themselves own or for which they have license to use publicly. Often such licenses require proper attribution, with text to follow a stipulated format. The image on the left shows the sidebar display for a Getty image, with a specific attribution and short but detailed description. The image on the right shows how the Title Image attribution appears, in light gray type, when the story is published. Images placed in other locations within a story or comment will not display the attribution.

License: There are three options available, set from the menu:

  • Daily Kos use only (the default option, permitting its use anywhere on the site)
  • My use only (only the uploader will see the image in the Library and have the ability to access it)
  • Use anywhere, with attribution (available for those who consent explicitly to have their image used off-site)

Description: This field is important for three key reasons. This 2020 post, KosAbility: Accessibility means creating alt text for images, explains why it matters and offers some tips for how to do so within the DK Image Library (and other web platforms).

  1. A detailed description is often required as part of the license for use, as illustrated by Getty images uploaded to our Library. 
  2. The description also provides significant detail about the who, what, where, when, and why of the image, which site readers are able to view via the hover over the image. 
  3. Screenreader apps pick up the text in the description field, thus helping to make all the images on the site more fully accessible to users with visual impairment. If no description is provided, the filename will be used instead.

Location: This field offers more context for the image and is searchable for users who may want a location-specific image.

Uploaded by: The name of the user who uploaded the image will be entered by the system. If the user is on Daily Kos staff, then the additional note will be included, (Daily Kos Official). Staff are expected to observe strict guidelines relative to copyright and licensing, so using a staff-uploaded image is an easy way to ensure good precautions have already been taken. It is possible to filter the Image Library for “Staff-uploaded = yes” to return only these images.

Taken: This field will be populated automatically with a time and date, according to the information associated with the image in its original storage. This stored information, of course, may or may not be accurate.

Last used in stories: This field is also populated automatically, but in this case, any date provided will come from the Daily Kos database.

Deleting an image: The uploader of an image retains the ability to delete an image at any time, no matter how often it has been used in comments and stories. To delete an image, open the Image Library and find then select the image to be deleted. Then click on the trash can icon displayed under the image display in the right sidebar. A warning message will appear, to request confirmation of your choice to delete permanently or to cancel the deletion process. Image deletion cannot be undone, and the system will remove the deleted image from any story or comment in which it was published.