Every once in a while something comes into your life and changes it forever. For my colleagues and I, that something was this 1″ button maker kit from American Button Making Machines. It’s been in action all year and there are no signs of our button-making obsession stopping anytime soon.
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.
For Medical Librarian’s Month last year, I created labels to put on Hershey’s Miniatures. I originally got the idea after receiving a box full of treats from Amigos Library Services for their online conference. Amigos had affixed a sponsoring vendor sticker on each snack pack. I figured it would be pretty easy to recreate something like this for our library giveaways and special occasions, and that it would be an easy marketing opportunity.
I used Hershey’s Miniatures because they are fairly inexpensive and I knew they’d be about the same size as an Avery 5160 label (1″ x 2 5/8″, 30 labels per page). Plus, everyone loves chocolate, right? I used the labels feature in Word (under the Mailings tab) to create a tiny design that included our name, picture, and a tagline. I did have to trim about 1/4″ off the edge of the labels to fit them length-wise on the little chocolate bars, but this was easily done with a paper cutter. I stuck the labels on the flat side of the candy so that patrons would have to notice our message when unwrapping each piece.
I ended up creating three similar designs, and because I couldn’t choose which one that I liked best, I used them all. Patrons commented about the slight difference in the designs as they were picking through the candy bowl, which meant that they had read the message…mission accomplished. I’ve modified the design for other events since.
Contact me for the Word Avery label template.
Often we create a single design to promote a library event, but every now and then an event is so important that it deserves an entire marketing campaign. This was the case for Maryland Day.
Rebecca Hopman, Special Collections Coordinator and Instruction & Outreach Team Member at the University of Maryland, says:
Each year our university hosts Maryland Day, an annual open house for the community, prospective students, and current students, faculty, and staff. The event is a chance for academic departments, campus offices, and local community organizations to connect with visitors. The UMD Libraries ran several events, most of which were held in Hornbake Library and McKeldin Library. Our team created promotional materials to advertise the UMD Libraries’ events and our “What did you do today?” social media campaign, including posters, a library website ad, TV monitor slides, and postcards for people to take with them or mail to a friend or family member.
Poster created using Publisher
Mail Bin Sign created using Photoshop
Postcard created using Publisher
TV monitor slide created using PowerPoint
We wanted to keep the design fun, simple, and colorful, so we used our official university colors (red, yellow, black, and white) as well as Maryland Day colors (bright red, green, blue, orange, and purple). For the postcards and slides we took original photos of our activities, and we used images from our digital collections to advertise the fact that we would stamp and mail postcards for people who wanted to send them to friends and family members. With each design, we tried to keep the amount of information to a minimum and emphasize the sharing/online component.
Wow, right? Everything UMD has done here is awesome, but I especially enjoyed the social media aspect, because you can see how much the community enjoyed the event!
Rebecca and her colleagues, Laura Cleary, Special Collections Coordinator and Instruction & Outreach Team Leader, and Sarah Espinosa, Graduate Student Assistant and Instruction & Outreach Team Member, used a variety of programs to best suit their creative needs. For the original files of any of the designs, contact Laura Cleary.