If you’ve been following Librarian Design Share for a while, you’ll know all about my love of buttons and button makers. We’re spreading the library love with our 1″ American Button Machine at virtually every event on campus thanks to my crafty colleague and user engagement librarian, Amanda VerMeulen, and hope to add another larger machine to library in the near future.

Today’s submission is all about sharing the button love. Bill Rooney, Circulation Assistant at the University Libraries at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia has not one but two lovely button machines that are in heavy use throughout the year. Here’s Bill talking about his designs.

Coming in a close second behind the books themselves, buttons are the most popular items we have at the University of the Arts Libraries. In our Greenfield Library we have not one but two American Button Machines button makers that are in near-constant use. We use our 1″ and 1.25″ button makers to create buttons, magnets, and keychains promoting the university, the libraries, and special events such as open houses or UArts’ ongoing 140th anniversary.


We have also created buttons highlighting images and materials from our archives including buttons highlighting the name changes the two schools making up the university, the College of Art, Media, and Design (CAMD) and the College of Performing Arts (CPA).


Our most popular buttons, however, are the emoji buttons we create. We selected emoji that reflected library materials, majors within the university, and ones that are simply fun and created buttons highlighting them along with our URL.


One of our more inventive uses for our button makers is our button making station at open houses. We set up a table with books and periodicals that are to be discarded and invite students to search for images within them to cut out and transform into buttons. While the station can get a bit messy, the fun of creating inventive, one-of-a-kind buttons makes the cleanup more than worth it.

All of the buttons we have made were created in Photoshop using a template marking the design and bleed areas. If we want to use a 1″ design to create a 1.25″ design, rather than creating a new file and working to get the dimensions exact, we often print 1″ button sheets at 125%. A few of the designs get cut off but most are usable.​​​


All of the artwork and button templates are available in the Librarian Design Share Google Drive Buttons folder!