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Librarian Design Share

inspiration for library creatives

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Displays

Designing Displays on a Budget

Ah, the time honored librarian tradition of book displays. Even for a well-funded library, creating a display that’s eye-catching and well designed can be a tall order. What’s a librarian to do? Well, sometimes you just work with what you’ve got.

Ella Hassett from Arup Library has this to say about her International Women’s Day book display:

This is the International Women’s Day (IWD) book display, which was launched in our library space on 8th March 2018. As is evident from the image below, the space available for book displays is narrow and sits in front of staff desks, so it is difficult to work with, as any display cannot block the area behind. It is also restricted as there is no wall or board to display information behind the display, so this has to be done using the units underneath instead. As this was my first display, it was very much an exercise in frugal creativity.

This book display was created with zero budget and utilised whatever stationery was available from the cupboard. It shows what can be done with access to office supplies! The books on display are a collection of titles about significant women working in the built environment and books about gender equality in the workplace. The display encompassed upright Venus signs made of paper cups with the motif glued to them, which were visible when approaching the library space. Some of the books were also standing upright to attract attention, with others laid flat for people to browse. I designed a simple sign to indicate what the display was for and used the same red colour as the IWD firm campaign, of which we included some posters on the unit underneath, as this created consistency. The stars were leftover Christmas decorations that added some sparkle to the display.

Although it was a small display, I am proud of the results, as the majority of the books were checked out over the course of International Women’s Week. Going forward, I will continue to utilise this display space to promote our collections and engage with our users.

photo of an international women's day book display in an academic library

Ella used Adobe Photoshop CS5 to create the signs for the display. Nice work Ella!

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Seasonal Signage

It’s nearly that time of the year again! School and academic librarians, your libraries are about to get a lot busier, and filled with those beginning-of-the-semester questions (Where can I get coffee? How do I print? Do you have my textbook?). For public librarians, it’s time to wave goodbye to summer programming and embrace the fall.

Whatever type of library you are in, this is the perfect season for signage. This call for submissions is focused on designs that signal change – a new beginning and the start of something good.

So whether you’re welcoming new or returning students, or just saying hello to the fall season, send us your signs! If you haven’t made any yet, don’t worry! We’ll be featuring these posts through the end of August.

Photo of the University of Massachusetts Amherst campus in the fall

Combine Display and Flyer Design

Here is an interesting design from Rainer Rees-Mertins, who works at Lib4RI-Library for the Research Institutes within the ETH Domain: Eawag, Empa, PSI & WSL in Switzerland.

survey

Rainer created the flyer in order to get community feedback on the library’s services. The flyer contains a QR code that leads directly to a survey and survey information on the back.  Community members were encouraged to take the flyer directly from the display.  I think that this is a cool, interactive display idea!

Rainer says,

…the flyer consists in Indesign of four swatches in standard postcard format, into which the print version was then cut. We placed the four flyers next to each other so patrons could read “Survey” already from pretty far away and they could take a flyer nonetheless. However, we also used the flyer as a whole for online materials to advertise the survey.

Rainer was also intentional about the colors that they used when designing the display.

The colours in the background are an enlarged version of our logo (see back of the flyer for the logo). I try to use these colours as often as possible for designs I make, because of the recognition value. What I liked especially about the flyer was the shift in the font colour from white to black in the “U”.

Thanks to Rainer, you are able to find this design on our Google drive.  All submitted work will be published on this site under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported license.

 

Happy Poetry Month

Libraries have the special opportunity to generate excitement about poetry every April.

My colleague Stephanie Hanni of Muhlenberg College in Allentown, Pennsylvania made a display in the style of blackout poetry.

library display with books, poster in the style of blackout poetry

She also created buttons!

 

She shares her thoughts:

In my head, I envisioned an image of an older poet with a gnarly beard and was elated when I found one! I used several overlays to create the look of a picture created from words and then I created the title of the poster to mimic the “blackout poetry” using Photoshop to construct the words. It was a lot of fun to create!
Pictures used in the poster were from creativecommons.org
Fonts used in this poster: Traveling Typewriter, creator: Carl Krull. 

I work right down the hall from this display and there was a lot of buzz from our community members about these buttons.

 

Thanks to Stephanie for her work on the display and for sharing it with Librarian Design Share!  We would love to see your National Poetry Month displays – submit your own work to show our community how you generated excitement about sonnets, limericks, or haiku.  All submitted work will be published on this site under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported license.

 

Coloring Our History

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.

Picture1
Jeanette describes her process in creating the covers and pages for the online books:

Continue reading “Coloring Our History”

Reference Collection in Need of a Boost

If your library’s reference collection is anything like ours, it’s likely:

  • underused
  • overlooked
  • 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.

Continue reading “Reference Collection in Need of a Boost”

Visualizing the ACRL Framework for Students

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.

Continue reading “Visualizing the ACRL Framework for Students”

Happy Medical Librarians Month (a little late)

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!):

cardfront

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:

bkmks

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:

orange

 

Our mobile resources:

IMG_1111

Our collections:

b1photo

Our educational offerings:

rml

Our archives:

photo purple2

 

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.

Readers’ Advisory in Horoscope Form

Readers' Advisory Horoscopes

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.

You can download the original Microsoft Office document with all of Christina’s literary horoscopes or contact her for greater detail about her designs.

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