Once upon a time, libraries didn’t keep numbers and stats; or, if we did, we quietly kept them to ourselves. However, a recent trend in libraries is to publicize our annual numbers so that stakeholders can understand the importance of a library’s existence.
Academic and school librarians are finally beginning to settle into the fall semester, and many of us are able to relax (or just stop running in circles) due to the efforts we put in during the summer to prepare for this school year. Joanna Hare, a Subject Librarian at the Run Run Shaw Library at the City University of Hong Kong, recently updated a guide to assist students in using the library.
Dan Vinson, the Coordinator of User Services and Library Assessment at Haggerty Library & Learning Commons at Mount Mary University, is an expert at making clear, concise tools to help simplify library business to students. If there is any doubt to that statement, be sure to check out his Dewey signs that he submitted to Librarian Design Share about a year ago, which he created with Easel.ly. Dan’s most recent designs, however, make use of every librarian’s new fave: Canva.
Dan created these latest designs, which he plans to link to from the library’s homepage, in direct response to his latest user survey. He explains more below.
We conduct a user survey every semester on rotating topics, and afterwards, we try to make “quick fixes” which we can then market. In our Spring survey, multiple students mentioned how difficult it was to figure out what tools to use when, and how to distinguish our request options.
In addition to retooling our library instruction marketing to faculty, I created this handout series from a Canva presentation template, each of which we will link directly to from our home page. I feel like they condense and organize the different points pretty well.
Not only is it an awesome idea to respond to the issues students are having, it’s so great to do it so beautifully, but also so plainly. I know you’re going to want to modify these for your own libraries, so you can find PDFs of Dan’s “quick fix” web designs on the Librarian Design Share Google Drive. You can also check out Dan’s prolific collection of library-related Canva designs here. And, if you have any specific design questions, drop Dan a line.
These days, most universities are moving towards learning management systems and libraries are moving towards online resources. However, we often overlook the fact that many students don’t have a reliable internet connection at home. Librarians at the San Juan College Library recognized this major issue and took action. Librarian Kim Lowe explains:
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.
There is no shortage of data to describe the work we do in libraries each year. The challenge is to use those numbers and statistics to paint a meaningful picture of our libraries’ values, missions, and goals, and how we work to accomplish them. Today’s post features a new academic librarian’s first attempt at making sense of data using a mashup of infographic styling and statistical charts.
Jess Burkhardt, Public Services Librarian at DeSales University’s Trexler Library created this design using Adobe Illustrator to share 2014-2015 library statistics with her campus community. Here’s Jess describing her design process:
This infographic was conceived in moment; my Director asked if I thought that students would find our annual statistics interesting in their current form on a library Libguide. “Sure, they might – if they find them at all,” I said, “but an infographic might go over better.”
And my infographic endeavors began. Though graphic design has my heart in a whole bunch of ways, I knew that there was a lot about design that I did not know. As I worked my way through an Adobe Illustrator course on Lynda.com I began considering what information to include and the design of the project. Graphical representation of our library proved difficult. I considered symbolizing each of our student workers, librarians, and databases, but each of my visualizations were unable to convey the extent of the information that we had collected. I drew many sketches on different sizes of paper and filled artboard after artboard with drawings in Illustrator just to find that my drawings of books looked exactly like Word art–a compliment that I did not readily accept.
This infographic went through many different phases. Images took a disproportionate amount of space, the message wavered between screechy and barely heard at all. After a lot of frustration and a looming deadline I decided to streamline what I had and came up with the final product. It is displayed throughout the Trexler Library, drew a lot of traffic to our Facebook page, and has been placed in our annual report.
This project excites me because it has introduced me to the world of Adobe Illustrator and Library Design Share. I’m excited to be joining your community and am already considering my next design project!
We’re excited to share Jess’ design. If you have any questions about it, you can contact her via email, or leave a comment below.
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.
You know that time at the beginning of a class where students are shuffling in, uncomfortably finding seats, messing with their phones, and avoiding eye contact with the instructor? I seem to have 5-10 minutes of this time at every session, and I realized that I should take advantage of this captive audience. Always thinking of ways to promote the library’s services, I made a library commercial.
It’s not nearly as fancy as it seems…I just made a PowerPoint (based on the format of this presentation) that is eye-catching, informative, and spurs some conversation beyond the awkward greeting that I extend to the students. I have the presentation scrolling as students arrive and then again as they leave. We’ve even started running the commercial at the TV near our Information Desk during the day.
I think there are lots of ways to expand on this idea. You could add sound, market different services to different patrons, turn it into web slides, make it longer or more interactive…but this is a start. If you are interested in modifying the original PowerPoint file for your own library, you can access it on Librarian Design Share’s Google Drive.