Making an Impact with your Slide Deck

Slideshow Templates

With many of us in academic libraries heading out to Portland today and tomorrow for ACRL 2015, it’s a good time to talk a little about what makes a good slide deck. Today’s submission is an example of a presentation with

  • clean lines,
  • a nice cohesive color scheme,
  • great statement photographs,
  • clear, attractive font choices, and
  • good use of text alignment for emphasis and impact.

This slide deck is courtesy of Alana Verminski, Collection Development Librarian at the University of Vermont Libraries and Kelly Blanchat, Electronic Resources Librarian at Queens College from their 2015 ER&L conference presentation:


We created the slides using Google Slides and most of the images were made using Google Draw. All the fonts are from Google Fonts. Kelly did some work in Photoshop to tweak a few of the images and the spreadsheet used in slide 10 was developed in Excel. Our presentation addressed many of the challenges (new) electronic resources librarians face when starting or transitioning into a new role. We focused on workflows and how revamping and developing new processes can facilitate the building of a new professional identity and gaining respect from colleagues.

You can contact Alana or Kelly for more information about their fantastic slides.

Keepin’ It Quiet

Library Signage

It’s cold in the Mid-Atlantic y’all. I’m trying to unfreeze my fingers by typing this morning, and what better way to warm up my joints than by sharing designs that tackle an issue we all wrestle with in our respective libraries: Noise. The best of libraries are filled with people reading and chatting, studying and collaborating, and this dual use can often pose a problem when some of our patrons want to converse and others want extended silence. I’ve found myself at either end of this spectrum (as I’m sure we’ve all been). I’ve been shushed and gotten the stink-eye from students for talking too loudly, and I’ve had to ask students to turn down their beats because everyone in their section of the library can hear the tunes blasting from their headphones.

Designating certain areas of the library as different noise level zones can help alleviate some of these noise conflicts, but good signage is key. Patrons need to be aware of the noise level preferred in different parts of the library, which is why I like this great submission by Michael Hughes, Instruction Librarian at the Coates Library at Trinity University.

Noise Level Signage

Noise Level Signage – Coates Library – Trinity University

Michael adapted the following graphic from the University of California, San Francisco Libraries (with permission) and incorporated a free icon into the design.

Noise Level Signage

Original Noise Level Signage – University of California, San Francisco Libraries

As an alternative, Michael also created the following sign, which, although busier, takes the same theme and adds a new twist on it.

Quit Study

What I love about all of these noise level signs and posters is the neutrality of language. Instead of “noisy” we see the terms “conversational study” or “active learning,” which I think motivates patrons to remain respectful of those around them.

As an alternative, we have these submissions from İpek Yarar at MEF University Library in Istanbul, Turkey, which I think do a nice job of using humor to kindly relay a message for noise control. All three feature an iconic Charlie Chaplin movie still.

Please be quiet

CC-Quiet-2

CC-Quiet-1

Do you have noise level signage at your library? What designs work best for your patrons?

You can find Michael’s original Photoshop files of his noise level signage and İpek’s printable signage (originally created with Adobe InDesign) on the Library Design Share Google Folder.

What’s On Your Image Carousel?

Web Design

A quick scan of library websites reveals that most have embraced the image carousel as a means of communicating news and announcements with library users. It’s how we share information about new resources, special events, library collections and any bit of information we think our patrons (or students or faculty or visitors) would like to know.

Creating effective images for a library website carousel can be a challenge. There is a delicate balance of imagery and text that, if distributed too far in either direction, can make your carousel announcements fade into the website background or cause digital users to shield their eyes and exit a page faster than you can say Google Analytics.

We’ve shared examples of web slides and carousel images in previous posts, and today we bring you a few more examples courtesy of Michael Hughes, Instruction Librarian at Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas.

Two Screens Are Better Than One. Check Citations on Your Phone

Here’s what Michael has to say about creating effective web announcements:

I create carousel images for our website in order to promote new acquisitions or services. Here are two banners I made, one for our site-wide New York Times subscription and another for our mobile citation tool. Heat map testing demonstrates that the carousel is one of the least-clicked parts of the library website, but my images also appear in a slideshow that plays in the library’s cafe. At any rate, the carousel is just one component of an outreach strategy and, as a bonus, the images keep the website from appearing disused.

Enjoy Full Access to NYTIMES.COM

Michael’s carousel slides present a nice balance of text and images while connecting website visitors to important library resources.You can download the original, editable Photoshop files of these slides from the Librarian Design Share Google Drive folder.

Honey Badger vs. Grumpy Cat

Instructional Materials

We live in a world of fickle and fast preferences.  Virginia Alexander, a Reference Librarian at The University of South Carolina Upstate, had previously used the honey badger meme featured here on Librarian Design Share to teach her classes Boolean logic, but recently found that her students either didn’t recognize the badger, or had tired of it. So, Virginia gave the meme an update using pictures from Creative Commons and Microsoft Publisher and Canva.com:

booleancats (1)

 

 

 

Here’s just hoping her students don’t say this next…

If Honey badger Don't Care You Think I Should? - If Honey badger Don't Care You Think I Should?  Grumpy Cat

image 

If you want to adapt Virginia’s Grumpy Cat meme to use at your own institution, contact her for the original files, or find them here in Librarian Design Share’s Google Drive.  If you do alter this meme, consider submitting to us…we can make this a recurring post!

Holiday Hours

Library Signage

Like many libraries out there, my library has reduced hours during the holidays.  This creates quite a bit of confusion for patrons, and it’s compounded when our signage looks like this:

hours before

Sure, all the information you need is right there, but it’s so hard to read.  I made this schedule to hang outside the library, and after printing it, I realized how bad it was. I took the same information and rearranged it into a calendar format:

hours after

Way better, right?  It’s so much clearer when we’re open and when we close early.  The color and graphics make the sign just a bit friendlier too.  It literally took 5 additional minutes to insert a table into Publisher and find the snowflake clip art than it did to make the block of text from the first sign.  I’d say it’s worth the effort!

We’d love to see examples of revised signage you all have tackled.  Submit your designs here!

Happy Medical Librarians Month (a little late)

Displays, Giveaways, Informational

October was National Medical Librarians month.  I realize that’s in the rear-view mirror now, but still wanted to share what we did to celebrate in my library this year.

I was inspired by a trip that Veronica and I took to the local Portland library while we were there for a conference.  The Multnomah County Library had a great display on their counter of colorful business cards with simple, effective icons and messages like the one below (I know, I should have collected them all!):

cardfront

I liked the idea that patrons could easily pick up the card to learn more about and learn more about the library’s services.  I wanted to implement this somehow at my own library. After brainstorming with staff, we decided to use the five weeks of October, which is National Medical Librarians Month, to celebrate our services. However, with our limited resources (read: me printing on cardstock on the staff machine and then using the paper cutter), we decided to make our takeaways just a bit bigger into the shape of bookmarks that we already are used to cutting and displaying.

Below are the five features we decided to highlight and the Publisher bookmarks (fronts on the top row and backs on the bottom) that I created:

bkmks

We were happy with the candy-colored printed bookmarks and thought that it would be really cool if these giveaways could coordinate with colors of REAL candy.  This involved a carefully planned trip to the grocery (thank goodness it was near Halloween with lots of candies to choose from), and some masterful exhibit making involving colored books, journals, and all the containers we could find in the library.  Here’s how it turned out week-by-week…please excuse the amateur photography:

Our library as a physical space:

orange

 

Our mobile resources:

IMG_1111

Our collections:

b1photo

Our educational offerings:

rml

Our archives:

photo purple2

 

Our patrons loved the changing displays and anticipated the colors, candies, and services they would see the next week.  Of course, more than anything, they liked the candy, but lots of good conversations were sparked in the month of October.

Do you celebrate months or certain days in your library?  We’d love to see your pics and materials if you do!  If you would like a PDF or the original Publisher document for the bookmarks, you can download them for adaption from the Librarian Design Share Google Drive.

Hand Lettering on Sidewalk Chalkboard Signs

Poster

I almost ate it and went with a pun for this blog post. Thankfully, I decided to bury “Chalk it up to good design” and focus on the great hand-lettering-style fonts on this poster. Like Nono’s chalkboard-style conference poster, today’s featured design makes good use of old school chalkboard cool to create a poster that’s sure to catch students’ attention.

Remember to Return Your Books to the Carl B.

Solveig Lund, Instruction and Reference Librarian at the Carl B. Ylvisaker Library at Concordia College created this poster using Microsoft Publisher.

The circulation manager asked me to create a 24×36 poster to place outside on a main campus sidewalk at the end of the semester to remind students to return their books to the library.  There are many collections of chalkboard fonts and sample designs available on Pinterest that I used for inspiration. I used Microsoft Publisher to create the sign and downloaded free fonts/wingdings from dafont, including:

I don’t know about you, but I’m a little bit obsessed with the Chalk Hand Lettering pack right now. You can download and adapt Solveig’s original Microsoft Publisher file, which is available on the Librarian Design Share Google Drive folder.

Beautifying Journal Reviews

Web Design

Journal reviews are serious business at academic libraries. If any of you have been through a systematic departmental or subject review of your academic journal holdings you’ll know that faculty are very protective of these materials. If you utter the word “cut” or “cancel” with no context to a room full of academics you are pretty much guaranteed loud-talking, moderate to wild gesticulation, the stink-eye, and laments about the glory of the library in graduate school. It’s a touchy topic.

Enter my colleague at St. Mary’s College of Maryland, Alana Verminski. In addition to the usual subject librarian trifecta of instruction, reference and collection development, Alana is also tasked with managing our library’s e-resources. Given rising serial costs and flat budgets, she’s recently developed a plan for us to be much more intentional and systematic about our journal subscription renewal decisions. To accompany this new review process, she created two designs for our website that will also be adapted into handouts for faculty in departments undergoing a journal review.

1. The Journal Review Process

The Journal Review Process

2. All About Usage Statistics

All About Usage StatisticsHere’s what Alana had to say about her designs:

These designs will be part of a series of web pages intended to inform faculty of the new journal review process. Unfortunately, journal usage statistics can be a dry topic for non-librarian audiences and like most statistics, can easily become overwhelming. In this design, I wanted something that was uncluttered and colorful – two ideas not usually associated with statistics. Keeping the audience and format in mind, I focused on using more images than text and for the usage statistics in particular, described each item as part of a larger process so viewers could see both the individual steps and the bigger picture. I used Google Drawings for the designs and found the icons on IconFinder.

I think this a great example of taking a complex library topic and creating a graphic that explains it well to non-librarians. You can find copies of the original Google Drawings Alana created in the Librarian Design Share Google Drive folder. If you have questions about the designs or about the journal review process we’re adopting at St. Mary’s, email Alana Verminski.

No Original Ideas

Slideshow Templates

I’m pretty sure that there are no original ideas out there anymore.  I regularly apply this philosophy to designs I create.  When I start a new project, I find something that is inspiring, and then try to adapt the design (maybe just the colors, or shapes, or fonts) to my needs.  For example, I recently ran across the Scopus blog while preparing a presentation about the H-Index.

01-scopus-blog

I found the header of the blog to be modern and beautiful, and I wanted to try to recreate it.  However, with limited time, I couldn’t pull it off (you know, I had to focus on the content more than the design). Instead, I used my Colorzilla tool to capture the colors and I used the idea of the circles and connecting lines to illustrate the concept of “H-Index and Beyond,” as you can see below.  To further the modern feel of the presentation, I used the font, Multicolore, which you can download here (and here’s a little trick that Veronica just taught me about SlideShare: to avoid losing your non-standard fonts, save your document as a PDF before uploading to the site!).

I wouldn’t say that this is the best presentation I’ve ever created, and I still regret not being able to create the window-paned orbits like Scopus made, but I feel like it borrows from the original design without plagiarizing it.

You can find the original file here to download on the Librarian Design Share Google Drive Folder.  Feel free to modify the PowerPoint for your own use, and if you create something cool, let us know!  We love to feature updates of designs here on the blog.

Vintage-Modern Message

Flyers & Advertisements, Library Signage

Paseo Verde Library in Nevada has the same problem that many libraries do: patrons who loudly carry on phone conversations without regard for those around them.  Instead of shushing or putting up passive-aggressive signage that no one reads, Virtual Branch Librarian Tawnya Shaw designed something that clearly conveys the message with an image that might just cause patrons to do a double-take:

No-Cell-Sign2

To create this eye-catching design, Tawnya used Photoshop to alter a piece of Victorian clip art and Rockwell font for the text.  The combination of image, font, and white space make this vintage design somehow feel very modern and effective.

Want to get the message out at your library?  You can download the original files from the Librarian Design Share Google Drive Folder and modify as you wish.