Houston, Texas is rich with culture, and the Houston Area Digital Archives division of the Houston Public Library works hard to capture the city’s history and make it accessible to all. In that spirit, HPL Cataloging and Metadata Services Librarian Jeanette Sewell recently submitted the digital archival coloring books designs she created.
If your library’s reference collection is anything like ours, it’s likely:
- 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.
We can’t really call the ACRL Framework for Information Literacy in Higher Education new anymore, but lots of us still need help in understanding what it all means. And if we librarians need help, imagine how our students are feeling about the whole thing! The librarians at the Ellen Clarke Bertrand Library at Bucknell University are working to make this easier on all of us with a series of posters about each frame.
October was National Medical Librarians month. I realize that’s in the rear-view mirror now, but still wanted to share what we did to celebrate in my library this year.
I was inspired by a trip that Veronica and I took to the local Portland library while we were there for a conference. The Multnomah County Library had a great display on their counter of colorful business cards with simple, effective icons and messages like the one below (I know, I should have collected them all!):
I liked the idea that patrons could easily pick up the card to learn more about and learn more about the library’s services. I wanted to implement this somehow at my own library. After brainstorming with staff, we decided to use the five weeks of October, which is National Medical Librarians Month, to celebrate our services. However, with our limited resources (read: me printing on cardstock on the staff machine and then using the paper cutter), we decided to make our takeaways just a bit bigger into the shape of bookmarks that we already are used to cutting and displaying.
Below are the five features we decided to highlight and the Publisher bookmarks (fronts on the top row and backs on the bottom) that I created:
We were happy with the candy-colored printed bookmarks and thought that it would be really cool if these giveaways could coordinate with colors of REAL candy. This involved a carefully planned trip to the grocery (thank goodness it was near Halloween with lots of candies to choose from), and some masterful exhibit making involving colored books, journals, and all the containers we could find in the library. Here’s how it turned out week-by-week…please excuse the amateur photography:
Our library as a physical space:
Our mobile resources:
Our educational offerings:
Our patrons loved the changing displays and anticipated the colors, candies, and services they would see the next week. Of course, more than anything, they liked the candy, but lots of good conversations were sparked in the month of October.
Do you celebrate months or certain days in your library? We’d love to see your pics and materials if you do! If you would like a PDF or the original Publisher document for the bookmarks, you can download them for adaption from the Librarian Design Share Google Drive.
Our latest design comes to us from Christina Gehring, Adult and Teen Services Librarian at the Hennepin County Library in Minneapolis, Minnesota. In it, Christina proves that the long arm of readers’ advisory knows no bounds!
I know plenty of friends and patrons who regularly read their horoscopes. As I was looking at some new astrology board books one day, it occurred to me that horoscopes might be a great place to insert some library propaganda. I have a revolving monthly display in front of the reference desk, and it took just a few hours to make these for an astrology book display.
I used the website eAstrolog to find monthly horoscopes, and took out and rewrote some predictions that I thought might lend themselves to book recommendations. I found the images for the bookmarks by limiting a Google search with “labeled for reuse.” My reading suggestions only point to genres, library programs, and services rather than titles to allow the reader to tailor the suggestion to their taste. Sometimes I added that they could ask their librarian for a more specific suggestion. My coworker had the great idea of adding famous literary characters and authors at the bottom, which ended up being one of the most frequently commented on aspects of the bookmarks.
The bookmarks were put out at desks at libraries across my library system, as well as shared on social media.
Going to Las Vegas for ALA Annual Conference? We are too! April and I will be presenting a poster about our work on Library Design Share on Saturday, June 28 from 12:30 – 2:00 pm in the Conference Center Exhibit Hall, poster station #17. Stop by, say hi and watch us try to color-coordinate our outfits to our poster!
If you aren’t able to come to Vegas, take a look at our poster below. If you want to reuse any design elements from the poster let us know in the comments section or send us an email.
We’ve featured a few different book displays on Librarian Design Share since our blog began, and I have to admit they’re my secret favorite thing to post. I don’t really get the opportunity to create displays for my library, so I think posting other people’s displays is my way of filling a personal design void.
This fantastic display comes to us from Leanne Mobley, MLS Candidate at Indiana University and the Center Supervisor at the Willkie Library, Indiana University Residential Programs & Services Libraries.
For the month of April, I put together a “Read the Rainbow” display to highlight our fiction collection. The display is an homage to the classic Pantone paint swatches. I rounded up a handful of books with vibrant covers and then used the eyedropper tool in Illustrator to select the main color featured.
I also ransacked the paint swatches at our local hardware store and covered our bulletin board. We mostly circulate DVDs and music, but our patrons are really enjoying the display and seem to be taking notice of our fiction collection.
April and I both love classic look of Pantone color swatches and can easily see this display replicated in academic, school, and public libraries. Really any library with a fiction collection would be able to do this!
If you have questions about the display, leave a comment. For the Illustrator files that accompany this display, contact Leanne directly.
Sometimes when bad things happen, you brush them under the rug and pretend they never happened. Other times, you have to address them, embrace them, and then celebrate them. I’m so happy that our library did the latter after our leak last year. We were lucky to have the institution’s full support to repair our space. Once we did that, we decided to throw a party to recognize those who helped us and to welcome back our patrons.
When designing the invitations (above) for our celebration, our library felt that it was important to keep the theme very similar to that of the leak communications. As a group, we brainstormed ideas that would go with the droplet, and we came up with the idea of using an umbrella. It’s a protection device, and that’s what our role was during the leak–protecting both our collection and our patrons from harm. I presented the following designs to the library to vote on:
I used clipart umbrellas from Microsoft Word, filling some with colors and changing the outline colors. I combined the umbrella image with multiple clipart rain droplets that I previously used. This design was OK, but it felt like the library had endured more of a flood than just a few drops of water…so I used the curvy line drawing feature in Publisher to insert a “flood” that runs to the umbrella. Our staff overwhelmingly voted for the flood rather than the drops, and they liked the simpler umbrella best, so we had an icon for our party invitation and publicity efforts.
This design opened a floodgate of ideas (sorry for the pun, but get ready for a lot more to come!). We decided our party would include a self-guided “Flood of Information” tour, which would highlight the different spots in the library that were affected, as well as connect those spots to a fact about our services. Each station, named after songs that we thought exemplified the experience, was an exhibit: we had a tape line that showed how far the water flooded; we displayed damaged books; we had pictures and videos from the leak; and we showed a video about disaster recovery. The five stations were easily found with a map that was coordinated to blue paper droplets taped to the floor. Below is the two-sided map we distributed to our guests (and I won’t even go into the boring details of making the map, although it probably took longer than any other part of the design!).
To make our party even more personalized, after the tour, we invited guests to enjoy homemade cookies that all of us on staff had baked. It was a warm welcome back for our patrons and a real celebration of our successful recovery.
If you are interested in any of the designs above to modify for your own recovery or celebration, let me know.
We recently moved our entire DVD collection out to the open stacks in our library. They used to be behind the circulation desk, and anyone who wanted to check out a movie had to look up a title and request it or browse through pages and pages of our DVD listings in a printed binder.
To celebrate our new browsable DVD collection, we toyed around with featuring librarian and library staff movie recommendations on the tops of the shelves and via social media. I came up with the posters below. They’re my less creative, i-can’t-use-illustrator-so-photoshop-will-suffice versions of these minimalist children’s book covers and re-imagined movie posters. I also threw in an advertisement for our library’s new Films on Demand Subscription, to go along with our movie emphasis.
I didn’t get a chance to brand the posters for our library, and ultimately, our library decided to go in a different direction with the publicity efforts. Even though these posters didn’t get used I thought they were still worth sharing in the event that someone else might use them or be inspired to great better versions!
If you’re interested in the Photoshop files of these posters, email Veronica Arellano Douglas.