If your library’s reference collection is anything like ours, it’s likely:

  • underused
  • overlooked
  • full of fantastic info that makes librarians drool

My fantastic colleague, Amanda VerMeulen, recently created a series of shelf signs to try to draw attention to our in-need-of-more-than-a-little-love reference collection.


Here’s Amanda describing her designs:

The car/road/map/travel theme was inspired by a premade marketing flyer from Credo. ­ Our Outreach librarian asked if I could create something to complement that signage that could be used in table­ top signs to draw students to the reference area.

I used Adobe Illustrator to create these table ­top signs as a way to teach myself a little more about the tool (because *apparently* Photoshop isn’t always the best tool for everything), but a simple design like this could be executed in many different editing and design softwares.

The images were either license free stock photos from freeimages.com (formerly sxc.hu) or Creative Commons licensed photos found with good ol’ Google. Our library doesn’t have an official brand mark or identity at this time, so I just recreated the (I think very attractive) header text used on our website and LibApps products, which uses the Google Font Lato.

Currently, the map sign is in use, but my favorite is the snow themed one. We had just come out of winter storm Jonas and there were a lot of posts on social media from students lamenting not being able to get their cars out. That also led me to create an alternate beach version as a nod to our campus’s strong connection to the water with our location on the St. Mary’s River.


As always, you can find these signs in the Librarian Design Share Google Drive Folder. Go ahead and use them to show your reference collection a little love!