I’m not really here for discussions about “fake news,” but I’m all for critical information literacy, including critical news literacy, and so are a group of librarians at Washtenaw Community College’s Bailey Library. Meghan Rose, Martha Stuit, and Amy Lee presented a poster recently at the Michigan Academic Library Association’s annual conference on their recent efforts to overhaul a News Literacy Libguide and use it as a springboard for instruction.
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.
We have a ton of leftover Demco® Processing Circulation Label Sets 1-5/8″ x 2-9/10 (SLB spine labels) so my first prototype was a result of just typing up our contact information into the OCLC Label Program. It was an effective way of getting out our contact info but didn’t really have any personality. I then downloaded a Microsoft Word template from DEMCO’s website. Working in Microsoft Word gave me a lot more flexibility with font size, style, color and allowed me to add pictures. For my second prototype I experimented with incorporating our school logo. This looked nice, but again, I felt like I could take the design a step further.
Going with this theme [library therapy], I thought it would be funny if the labels on the candy looked like the labels on prescription bottles. With a little personalization, I turned the library into a pharmacy and the chocolate became “Prescription Chocolate” and “Emergency Chocolate.” They were a big hit and the students appreciated the joke.
A few months back, I went to a resource fair in my institution, and another department had an interesting giveaway that I hadn’t seen before: an iPad cleaner. Of course, this is really nothing more than a large eyeglasses shammy, but by putting it into the trendy context of an iPad or a tablet cleaner, it became THE swag to snag.
So, of course, I decided that my library needed to get in on this and make our own cleaner for the next opportunity we have to give things away. I started with a simple, basic design, like the one that I picked up, but before long, I realized that we could use a design that was already in circulation…our tablet handout. The iPad layout fits perfectly to the 5 1/2 x 7″ size of cloth. The only change I needed to make to the design was to include our tablet site’s web address and QR code at the bottom so that patrons could find the site we were advertising (the tablet handout was two-sided with that information on the back, and the cleaning cloth can only be printed on one side).
You may notice that our tablet site’s image changed a bit since the last post, but we have committed to keeping this design for at least a year, so we ordered 500 of these babies at about $1.50 a piece through our institution’s vendor, and we think they’ll be a big hit!
What are you guys giving out to patrons this fall?
Contact me if you want the original Publisher file for this design.