Librarian Design Share

inspiration for library creatives


July 2013

Connecting with Freshman

iphone bookmark frontiphone bookmark back

If you’re an academic librarian, late summer is (among other things) the time for Fall Semester prep. Lindsey Gumb, Web & Digital Services Specialist at Roger Williams University Library has created these cute bookmarks to give away to freshman and new students in the fall. Here’s Lindsey in her own words:

I recently designed a “bookmark” to be passed out to incoming freshmen to promote our social media and to give them a quick “cheat sheet” link to all the ways to connect with us. We’re new to really using social media to connect with our students, so we want to make sure we promote as much as we can. This bookmark is just one way we’re doing that! It was designed using Photoshop CS5, and I have the psd files for anyone that’s interested in seeing them. I’m not a graphic designer by any means, so the design is simple, but it works for us, and I’m happy to share!

Lindsey’s bookmarks also include a great adaptation of Michael Schofield’s mobile app icon for libraries, which was featured on the blog in February. It’s nice to see designs shared here reused and adapted!

For the original Photoshop files, email Lindsey.

Simplifying the Copy Machine

Why are copy machines so hard to use?  It seems like the basic functions haven’t changed in years, yet every machine is different, and every one is overly complicated.  The relatively new machine at my library used to take 6 pages of directions to operate!  Even something as simple as placing the document on the glass surface to copy took this much direction:  scan from top glass

Because we apparently have no control over how difficult the machine is to use (press “finish” then “start”?!?), I attempted to at least simplify the directions.  Here is the same procedure as above, hopefully improved:


I used numbers (rather than Roman numerals) that correspond to the pictures on the side because I find that the images integrated into the directions are distracting. I also used simple colors and clearer images that I found from the online copier manual.  These directions are posted on the wall near our copier, so to improve the user experience from afar, I enlarged the text from the nearly-impossible-to-see 12-point font to an-easier-on-the-eyes 18-point and surrounded the words with a lot of white space.  It’s not the perfect solution (that would be magically making the copier more intuitive), but it works a little better than it did.

If you are interested in seeing more of these directions, email me for the Word document.

Pop Up Herb Truck

Library displays are often planned out laboriously, but other times they happen organically (pun intended), as the case with the Pop Up Herb Truck at Northern Virginia Community College, Annandale Campus.  Librarian Paula DeRoy–you may remember her from this post–explains:

You know how it is with creativity… and gardeners…and librarians.   It all started when one of the staff offered to bring in some lavender from his garden.  We got to talking about the herbs we have flourishing right now.  So we decided to bring in herbs and why not pull some books from the collection?

The herb display is kind of symbolic of our “lifelong learning” philosophy.  We aren’t just here to teach “to the class,” we are here to promote lifelong learning and information literacy.  With herbs, we could look at the senses, aromatherapy, art, cooking, historic and medicinal uses, etc. etc.  We just keep trying to connect with our students and make them feel comfortable using the library and our services.

What are you guys doing out there with your book trucks when they aren’t full of books to shelve?

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