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.
There are a lot of commonalities between libraries and breweries. We both want to provide for the public; we have products people need; we are both experiencing a surge in popularity…oh, who am I kidding? This post is about librarians who like to drink beer.
There are so many different ways in which libraries offer reference and research assistance, but it can often be a challenge to make sure that the people in our communities know about them all. Alex Ferguson, Reference Assistant at the Texas Tech Law Library created an all-in-one advertisement for all of the library’s reference help services.
We live in a world of fickle and fast preferences. Virginia Alexander, a Reference Librarian at The University of South Carolina Upstate, had previously used the honey badger meme featured here on Librarian Design Share to teach her classes Boolean logic, but recently found that her students either didn’t recognize the badger, or had tired of it. So, Virginia gave the meme an update using pictures from Creative Commons and Microsoft Publisher and Canva.com:
Here’s just hoping her students don’t say this next…
If you want to adapt Virginia’s Grumpy Cat meme to use at your own institution, contact her for the original files, or find them here in Librarian Design Share’s Google Drive. If you do alter this meme, consider submitting to us…we can make this a recurring post!
Like many libraries out there, my library has reduced hours during the holidays. This creates quite a bit of confusion for patrons, and it’s compounded when our signage looks like this:
Sure, all the information you need is right there, but it’s so hard to read. I made this schedule to hang outside the library, and after printing it, I realized how bad it was. I took the same information and rearranged it into a calendar format:
Way better, right? It’s so much clearer when we’re open and when we close early. The color and graphics make the sign just a bit friendlier too. It literally took 5 additional minutes to insert a table into Publisher and find the snowflake clip art than it did to make the block of text from the first sign. I’d say it’s worth the effort!
We’d love to see examples of revised signage you all have tackled. Submit your designs here!
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.
I almost ate it and went with a pun for this blog post. Thankfully, I decided to bury
“Chalk it up to good design” and focus on the great hand-lettering-style fonts on this poster. Like Nono’s chalkboard-style conference poster, today’s featured design makes good use of old school chalkboard cool to create a poster that’s sure to catch students’ attention.
The circulation manager asked me to create a 24×36 poster to place outside on a main campus sidewalk at the end of the semester to remind students to return their books to the library. There are many collections of chalkboard fonts and sample designs available on Pinterest that I used for inspiration. I used Microsoft Publisher to create the sign and downloaded free fonts/wingdings from dafont, including:
I don’t know about you, but I’m a little bit obsessed with the Chalk Hand Lettering pack right now. You can download and adapt Solveig’s original Microsoft Publisher file, which is available on the Librarian Design Share Google Drive folder.
Nono Burling, Online Resources Coordinator at Washington State Library and manager of the ASK WA Virtual Reference Project, first shared this amazing chalkboard-style poster design on the ACRL Library Marketing and Outreach (LMaO) Facebook group, and we are so excited to feature it here today. It’s a good example of trying something new with conference poster design and makes great use of interesting fonts. Here’s Nono talking about her design process:
I’d originally been asked to present at the College Librarians and Media Specialists of Washing State (CLAMS) 2014 fall conference, but due to time constraints my presentation turned into a poster session. I wanted something eye-catching that would draw people. I’ve always loved those chalkboard designs you see in coffee shops so decided to try one of my own. The “Sneak Peek” part of the poster is a lift-the-flap piece. The entire design goes on a 36″ by 48″ tri-fold poster board.
Here are some of the fonts I used in this design for both the text and ornamental pieces, all free to download:
You can also see more fonts that would work well on a chalkboard design at this great Font Round-Up.
Nono’s poster was created using MS Publisher and Powerpoint. You can download the original files from the Librarian Design Share Google Drive Folder and adapt to your heart’s content (just remember to give Nono a shout-out). Excuse me while I go download all these fonts…
Assessment isn’t easy, and sometimes the hardest part of measuring your effectiveness is getting patrons to take a survey. When our library embarked on the LibQual survey last month, we had a goal to reach more patrons that we had in 2010. We agreed that a marketing campaign was the best way to accomplish this, and that our catch-phrase would be “Let Us Know,” which is simple, but exactly what we wanted patrons to do. So I got busy making designs to promote our LibQual.
Whenever I start to create something, I look for other examples out there for inspiration. I found these amazing designs from a French library (and then of course I had to Google translate to understand the text!):
These marketing signs were unlike any others I had seen, and I knew I wanted to create something similar for our library. In the designs above, you are asked if you prefer your library one way or another…I didn’t have a lot of staff to stage pictures, so I used the pictures we already have. My designs don’t compare services, but each one does ask a question straight from the LibQual survey.
I placed eight different variations of this design around the library to catch patrons’ eyes, but to remain consistent in design and message. I furthered our library “brand” by using orange, the color we use on our handouts, website, and instructional materials. Our patrons are pretty used to seeing “library orange” these days. To continue the message, we used the phrase, “Let Us Know” with an orange picture in emails to faculty, staff, and students, and we placed this banner on our website:
So how did it go? Well, we increased our respondent rate by 25% from years past. We can’t directly count the marketing for the increase, but I’d say it didn’t hurt.
What are you doing to promote your library? Have you tried to market your LibQual survey? Share your designs here with us! And, if you would like the original Publisher documents to modify for your library, contact me.