Every once in a while something comes into your life and changes it forever. For my colleagues and I, that something was this 1″ button maker kit from American Button Making Machines. It’s been in action all year and there are no signs of our button-making obsession stopping anytime soon.
Dan Vinson, the Coordinator of User Services and Library Assessment at Haggerty Library & Learning Commons at Mount Mary University, is an expert at making clear, concise tools to help simplify library business to students. If there is any doubt to that statement, be sure to check out his Dewey signs that he submitted to Librarian Design Share about a year ago, which he created with Easel.ly. Dan’s most recent designs, however, make use of every librarian’s new fave: Canva.
Dan created these latest designs, which he plans to link to from the library’s homepage, in direct response to his latest user survey. He explains more below.
We conduct a user survey every semester on rotating topics, and afterwards, we try to make “quick fixes” which we can then market. In our Spring survey, multiple students mentioned how difficult it was to figure out what tools to use when, and how to distinguish our request options.
In addition to retooling our library instruction marketing to faculty, I created this handout series from a Canva presentation template, each of which we will link directly to from our home page. I feel like they condense and organize the different points pretty well.
Not only is it an awesome idea to respond to the issues students are having, it’s so great to do it so beautifully, but also so plainly. I know you’re going to want to modify these for your own libraries, so you can find PDFs of Dan’s “quick fix” web designs on the Librarian Design Share Google Drive. You can also check out Dan’s prolific collection of library-related Canva designs here. And, if you have any specific design questions, drop Dan a line.
Cindi Tysick, Head of Educational Services in the Research, Education and Outreach Unit of the University Libraries at the University at Buffalo used Canva to create posters to visually represent each of the frames of ACRL’s Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education.
Cindi reveals her sneaky trick to teach the Framework and explains why you’ll find seven, rather than six, posters in her library:
By putting these posters around your library you can begin cementing the concepts into subconscious of students and faculty. The posters can also be printed into a brochure format, which can be given to students and faculty during orientations, workshops, or library instruction.
When looking over the posters you’ll see that there is a seventh frame, “Information has Structure.” Our Educational Services Team at the University at Buffalo Libraries felt that there were so many knowledge practices under “Searching as Strategic Exploration,” that maybe there were actually two frames hidden there. After debating about it we thought that students needed to know that the strategy they employed should be based on the knowledge that the information sources they were exploring had a structure (i.e. controlled vocabulary, thesaurus, browsability, etc.) so we created the seventh frame.
We are finding that this simple way to define the frames are aiding us in the development of learning objectives and lesson plans.
The Framework is always a hot topic, and these posters, with their eye-catching colors, images, and icons, certainly help visualize and conceptualize something that can be confusing to faculty, student, and even librarians. You can download all seven PDF posters from the Librarian Design Share Google Drive, and you can contact Cindi with any design-related questions.