Springshare’s Libguides have become an integral part of our work as librarians, and although we’ve all come to accept certain best practices in their creation, there’s still the matter of making well-presented information look good. Miyo Sandlin, Digital Services and Instruction Librarian at St. Francis College, recently revamped the library’s APA Style research guide with an eye towards usability, aesthetics, and style.
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.
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.
A quick scan of library websites reveals that most have embraced the image carousel as a means of communicating news and announcements with library users. It’s how we share information about new resources, special events, library collections and any bit of information we think our patrons (or students or faculty or visitors) would like to know.
Creating effective images for a library website carousel can be a challenge. There is a delicate balance of imagery and text that, if distributed too far in either direction, can make your carousel announcements fade into the website background or cause digital users to shield their eyes and exit a page faster than you can say Google Analytics.
We’ve shared examples of web slides and carousel images in previous posts, and today we bring you a few more examples courtesy of Michael Hughes, Instruction Librarian at Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas.
Here’s what Michael has to say about creating effective web announcements:
I create carousel images for our website in order to promote new acquisitions or services. Here are two banners I made, one for our site-wide New York Times subscription and another for our mobile citation tool. Heat map testing demonstrates that the carousel is one of the least-clicked parts of the library website, but my images also appear in a slideshow that plays in the library’s cafe. At any rate, the carousel is just one component of an outreach strategy and, as a bonus, the images keep the website from appearing disused.
Michael’s carousel slides present a nice balance of text and images while connecting website visitors to important library resources.You can download the original, editable Photoshop files of these slides from the Librarian Design Share Google Drive folder.
Journal reviews are serious business at academic libraries. If any of you have been through a systematic departmental or subject review of your academic journal holdings you’ll know that faculty are very protective of these materials. If you utter the word “cut” or “cancel” with no context to a room full of academics you are pretty much guaranteed loud-talking, moderate to wild gesticulation, the stink-eye, and laments about the glory of the library in graduate school. It’s a touchy topic.
Enter my colleague at St. Mary’s College of Maryland, Alana Verminski. In addition to the usual subject librarian trifecta of instruction, reference and collection development, Alana is also tasked with managing our library’s e-resources. Given rising serial costs and flat budgets, she’s recently developed a plan for us to be much more intentional and systematic about our journal subscription renewal decisions. To accompany this new review process, she created two designs for our website that will also be adapted into handouts for faculty in departments undergoing a journal review.
1. The Journal Review Process
2. All About Usage Statistics
These designs will be part of a series of web pages intended to inform faculty of the new journal review process. Unfortunately, journal usage statistics can be a dry topic for non-librarian audiences and like most statistics, can easily become overwhelming. In this design, I wanted something that was uncluttered and colorful – two ideas not usually associated with statistics. Keeping the audience and format in mind, I focused on using more images than text and for the usage statistics in particular, described each item as part of a larger process so viewers could see both the individual steps and the bigger picture. I used Google Drawings for the designs and found the icons on IconFinder.
I think this a great example of taking a complex library topic and creating a graphic that explains it well to non-librarians. You can find copies of the original Google Drawings Alana created in the Librarian Design Share Google Drive folder. If you have questions about the designs or about the journal review process we’re adopting at St. Mary’s, email Alana Verminski.
April and I started this blog last December, and since then, we’ve been so impressed with the designs you’ve shared with us. In an effort to better showcase new designs and mix things up a bit, we’ve given Librarian Design Share a little face lift.
New year, new theme, new layout.
You can still search the blog for design inspiration, and all of our category, tag, and archive information are available in the site footer.
Hope y’all enjoy the changes around here.