Librarian Design Share

inspiration for library creatives


June 2013

When Your Library’s Blog Needs a Little Push

Like a lot of libraries, the St. Mary’s College of Maryland Library has a blog. The librarians (and some of our library staff) are rotating contributors, and we try to cover everything from interesting stuff in our print and online collections to events to what’s going on in the info-verse. It’s a mixed bag, but we like it that way.

Although we offer plenty of ways for our campus community to subscribe to content updates (Twitter, RSS, Email), I haven’t been super successful at increasing our number of subscribers. So to make sure that people know about our blog, I try to highlight our posts on our library website’s image carousel. Here are my latest efforts:

Learn about weeding in the library
Photo Credit: Chickweed forest by Wayne Marshall on Flickr.
A St. Mary's Librarian at the NYPL
Photo Credit: Image by SMCM Librarian Alana Verminski
Who's that pre-1941 alumna?
Photo Credit: Image from the St. Mary’s Library Archives

How do you highlight your library’s blog?

For the original Photoshop files of these slides, email Veronica Arellano Douglas.

Making Sense of Databases in Libguides

We are, without a doubt, a Springshare library. Libguides? Check! Libanswers? Yes! Libchat? Yup! LibCal? You bet!

Although we’ve embraced Libguides as a platform for creating subject (and not-so-subject-based) guides, we hadn’t really been using Libguides in a way that many librarians currently do: as the main access point to the library’s online database collection. Instead we were using ResearchPort, a gateway maintained by the University of Maryland Libraries ITD center. We wanted to have more control over our database access point interface, so we decided to go with a Libguide. Here’s what I came up with: Databases Libguide (see screenshots below).

Databases Libguide

It has the same look and feel as our library site and our other libguides, but has some cool features I’m really proud of creating and adapting.

Browse Databases by Subject1. A drop-down Databases by Subject menu

The technical support at Springshare is amazing. I knew that I wanted to avoid creating separate pages/tabs for each of our subject categories, but I didn’t know enough about scripting to create collapsible menus. Enter Cindi Trainor at Springshare, who set up a great collapsible box feature for me to use. All that was left for me to do was style each of the subject boxes that that they smooshed together (yes, that’s a technical term) and looked like one giant box. Fooled you, didn’t I?I think this is a nice way to get a lot of useful content on the page without taking up a ton of room.  Bonus: Our subject librarians can reuse these database boxes on their own subject guides!


Search for a Database2. A Find a Database search box

This is an adaptation of the search created by Scott Salzman at Furman University Libraries. He recently presented this amazing solution at the 2013 Springy Camp, thereby and was kind enough to offer his code and support.

You can learn more about this search box in the Libguide Scott created for his presentation. It’s a great alternative to using the “search this guide” feature embedded in Libguides, which will only give you the name (aka the letter) of the page in which the database link appears.

3. A space for database trials and our citation linker

Database Trials and Citation Linker boxes

If you have questions about the creation of this guide, email Veronica Arellano Douglas.

Promoting eResources in the Stacks

American Film Scripts Online

If your stacks are anything like ours then unused advertising space abounds. Our shelf end-caps have small signs with call number ranges on them and not much else. Theresa Mudrock and her colleagues at the University of Washington Libraries are “experimenting with posters in the stacks to highlight specific databases, subject guides and subject librarians.” It sounds like a fantastic use of dead space.

Oxford Bibliography Poster - Buddhism

This poster, created on MS Publisher, promotes our newly acquired module of Oxford Bibliographies. Similar posters were made for other modules including Hinduism, Political Science, etc. The posters were placed in the book stacks in the call number areas for the subject.

It’s a simple but effective marketing technique. Users are already looking for books in a particular subject area, so why not point them to other helpful resources?

ASFA Poster

For the original Publisher files of these posters, email Theresa Mudrock.

Summer is Here

Librarian Summer MemeIt’s been awfully quiet around the blog these past few weeks, and with good reason. Those of us in academic libraries are just coming out of our recovery hibernation: that period immediately following final exams where we need to decompress, drink some wine, and try to forget about the hoards of students looking for scholarly articles the day before their final paper was due. If those of you in public libraries are anything like my awesome local public library, you’re probably taking a programming break before kicking off a jam-packed summer schedule.

Now that we’ve transitioned out of the May resting period, April and I thought it would be a great time to send out another call for submissions.

The theme: SUMMER.

The designers: YOU.

The details: We want to know how you’re promoting summer programs, including summer reading, at your library. Are you creating fantastic book displays for adults, students, or children? Do you have an eye-catching print or online campaign to publicize your library’s events this summer? Are you really proud of your summer reading advertisements?

Share them with us, and we’ll share them with everyone else. We’d love to know what you’re up to this summer.

Photo credits: Top photo is Summer Fun by Ron Cogswell on Flickr. Bottom photo is 2012 Summer Reading Skit @ Millbrae Library by San Mateo County Library on Flickr.

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