All libraries have rules and policies; it’s how we maintain a sort of organized chaos at our dynamic, community-serving organizations. However, expressing those rules to library users can present a bit of a public relations challenge: We want to be friendly, yet firm; accommodating, but not so laissez-faire that we no longer have a purpose and mission. We often communicate our library’s policies through some sort of sign or poster, but are we thinking about the tone we are setting with the design of those posters? Our message might be saying one thing, but the way it’s visually displayed and organized may be communicating a very different meaning.
It seems like this year, more than ever, librarians have truly responded to students’ needs during finals with extended hours, programming, and tips and tricks to survive the stress.
Every spring semester at the MGH Institute of Health Professions, the library co-sponsors activities for students to take study breaks. Librarian Amanda Tarbet created the flyer below using Canva to remind students of library events during finals:
For those of us in school and academic libraries, the end of the semester and school year is a time for reflection and…reporting (womp womp). Rather than send out the same old charts, graphs, and narrative reports, why not turn a chore into an exercise in graphic design? It’s a great opportunity to learn a new graphic design tool like Canva, Publisher, or Illustrator, and may even give you a chance to think about what numbers and data mean the most to you and your library.
Every April the Academy of American Poets promotes Poem in Your Pocket Day, which is pretty much what it sounds like: “People celebrate by selecting a poem, carrying it with them, and sharing it with others throughout the day at schools, bookstores, libraries, parks, workplaces, and on Twitter using the hashtag #pocketpoem” (Poem in Your Pocket Day 2016). The librarians at McKillop Library at Salve Regina University have a special fondness for poetry, and use National Poem in Your Pocket Day to connect with students, faculty, and staff. Beth Blycker Koll, Evening Circulation Supervisor created this poster to promote the day and their event. Here’s Beth discussing her design:
As we continue to make our way through finals week and the end of another academic semester, it’s clear that you are doing some amazing outreach work at your libraries. Earlier this week we shared the emerging trend of The Finals Fairy, a benevolent creature whose power lies in its ability to bring sugary snacks to stressed out students. A bit less magical, but just as effective, are libraries that seek to help take some of the stress out of the end of the semester with study break activities and research and writing help.
It’s that time of year again. The stress levels are high, the self-care activity is low, and college students everywhere could use an extra 8 hours in everyday. It’s final week, and if your library is anything like mine, it’s quiet and full of ultra-focused students.
Today’s design from Jess Burkhardt, Public Services Librarian at the DeSales University Trexler Library, was inspired by the work of librarians at Salisbury University, Michigan State University, and Lafayette College, who all worked hard to bring the magic of The Finals Fairy to their hard-working students.