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Librarian Design Share

inspiration for library creatives

Month

May 2015

That Librarian with the Beard

We might be surprised by what stands out to our patrons or students about our respective libraries. Sometimes it’s a spot in the building with just the right amount of sunlight and privacy for studying; sometimes it’s a Facebook post that makes them smile; and sometimes it’s just a friendly librarian with an epic beard.

Stacy Taylor, Emerging Technologies Librarian at Adams State University’s Nielson Library, took an aspect (well, person, really) of the library that made a positive impression on students and used it to market the library’s ability to help students. It’s genius, really. Here’s Stacy’s take on this outreach effort:

Continue reading “That Librarian with the Beard”

Think Beyond Paper: Fabric Posters

Last month we featured a series of poster presentations from ACRL 2015 that demonstrated great design and visual representations of research and ideas. One of the fantastic posters we saw at conference slipped into an email abyss and didn’t make it into those posts, but we’re remedying that now.

Today’s featured design is a poster, yes, but we’re highlighting it today because it uses a somewhat unconventional material from a website that has some definite design possibilities. Allison Carr, Social Sciences Librarian, and Talitha Matlin, STEM Librarian, both at California State University San Marcos, used Spoonflower to print their poster on fabric.

Continue reading “Think Beyond Paper: Fabric Posters”

What Can You Do With Canva?

We’ve seen an increase in the number of submissions we’ve received from folks using Canva, so we decided to devote a whole post to this web-based graphic design tool.

Earlier this week we featured library hours signage from Edita Sicken, Instruction and Access Services Librarian at Manchester University’s Funderburg Library, which she created using Canva. Edita’s also used Canva to create all kinds of library flyers and advertisements, like the ones below.

Chat Graphic

Edita sang Canva’s praises in our last post, but here’s a recap of what she loves about Canva:

  • templates
  • fonts
  • graphics
  • availability of a mobile version for design on the go

K-Cups at the Library

Kasia Piasecka, Reference Librarian at Falmouth Public Library, has used Canva to create fantastic advertisements for library events and programs, like the one below.

Breakfast with the authors

Here’s what Kasia has to say about using Canva for graphic design:

As a past self-professed Microsoft Publisher geek, I was really excited to start using a new (free!) web-based program to design publicity materials and advertisements for our library. I see my role as a librarian and as a designer as complimentary — by strengthening my ability to design beautiful materials, I am promoting the library as the incredible community center that it is. Although marketing the library is a challenge in many communities, I strongly believe that design matters [to your audience], and it makes a difference. It’s very important to market your library, your programs and resources; to carefully design your publicity materials with an eye for detail and a strategy for branding; to identify and choose the best software available to you. As librarians, we are hard-wired to find the best tool to help us, and I cannot recommend Canva strongly enough. I have been absolutely amazed by the variety of designs, presentation layouts, font choices, and overall, Canva’s user-friendly interface.

Long Haul Book Discussion

You can find Kasia on Canva and see all of her designs there, or you can contact her for more details about her marketing materials.

Advertising Hours

For those of us in academic libraries, it’s that time of year again: Finals Week (or impending Finals Doom, depending on who you ask). All of our laptops are checked out, extension cords line the walkways, and students begin appearing more and more disheveled as the week progresses. Our patrons are less interested in research help (all those papers were due last week!) and more interested in the amount of coffee needed to power through an all-night study session.

One thing that often changes during this time of year are our hours of operation. Extended hours during finals week, fewer open hours immediately afterward–all of these changes require eye-catching, easy-to-scan signage. Here are a few great signage submissions advertising library hours.

Edita Sicken, Instruction and Access Services Librarian at Manchester University’s Funderburg Library, used Canva to create the her library’s changing hours signage.

Extended Hours Signage

Here’s what Edita had to say about her hours signage:

I used Canva for all of these and none of them utilize any of their pay-per-use graphics. Some of the images used were our own, most of them are under creative commons licenses. I’m well-versed in Photoshop, Illustrator, and Publisher but Canva is really handy to use because of all the templates, filters, fonts, and graphic elements that are readily available. Plus there’s a mobile version available so if I’m out at a conference with my iPad and realize I forgot to get a promo image out, I can throw one together really quick!

Fall Break Hours Signage Spring Break Hours Signage

Sometimes our library’s operating schedule can get a bit complicated, which means our signage often suffers from too much information all at once.

Jonas Lamb, Public Services Librarian at the University of Alaska-Southeast’s Egan Library, recently revamped his library’s hours signage using Photoshop. Here’s the old version, which, as Jonas mentions, “often got over complicated with intersession and holiday exceptions.”

Egan Library Old Signage

You can see that the new versions follow a nice template with variations in color for different times of year. It’s a great way to highlight changes in hours while still maintaining a steady look and feel.

Egan Library Summer Hours
Here’s Jonas’ talking about this new signage:

I’d reached my wit’s end with library signage designed using Word, Publisher, PPT, etc and finally taught myself enough Photoshop to put something visually simple to refresh our existing signage.  Around the same time we began using 4×6 acrylic table top-6 sided sign holders and an 80” digital display so I had an opportunity to re-use elements of the new design into a variety of sizes and layouts, subtracting text elements where appropriate.

Egan Library Spring Hours

Egan Library Regular Hours

What are your solutions to advertising modified hours of operation? Do you have other signage you’d like to share? Or better yet, signage you want to change but aren’t sure how it can be improved? Let us know!

PDF and JPEG versions of Edita’s Canva signs are available on the Librarian Design Share Google Drive, as are Jonas’ original Photoshop files.  As always, resuse designs responsibly!

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