Once upon a time, libraries didn’t keep numbers and stats; or, if we did, we quietly kept them to ourselves. However, a recent trend in libraries is to publicize our annual numbers so that stakeholders can understand the importance of a library’s existence.
The infographic is a visual representation of Reynolds Libraries yearly stats. This not only gets published online, but is printed and framed for display in all three campus libraries. The infographic helps library staff and administrators demonstrate our worth with accessible data. Our college president shared and praised the graphic in a recent college board meeting.
Librarians Laura Slavin and Courtney Braggs from Huntsville-Madison County Public Library in Huntsville, Alabama used Piktochart (with a little polishing in Microsoft Publisher) to create their year in review infographic:
“Behind the Scenes” is the public’s backstage pass to what they don’t get to see everyday. It draws back the curtains of our library system statistics, and shines a bright light on how essential we are to our community. The design was meant to be clean and streamline like drapes, pulled back to showcase and frame the large, eye-catching usage values of a few our of core services. This is the public’s library, so we wanted everyone to have a front row seat to the show as we brought every statistic to center stage to wow the crowd.
Finally, I even tried my own hand at using Canva (for the very first time!) to create an infograhic illustrating the Bryan Wildenthal Memorial Library’s accomplishments in my first year here at Sul Ross State University. I shared this chart with administration, library staff, and on social media channels:
Librarians know that creating a design like this is not necessarily about the numbers, it’s more about telling a story, and focusing on areas for improvement for the next year. We know that telling our story in a visual, compelling way makes our users pay more attention to our message. I look forward to seeing more infographics like the ones above as we continue to find ways to let people know what we’re doing.