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Librarian Design Share

inspiration for library creatives

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Chalkboard-Style Poster Design (with Fonts to Love)

Chalkboard Poster by Nono Burling

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…

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Let Us Know

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!):

Affiche2Libqal+40X60cm

Affiche3Libqal+40X60cm

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.

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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:

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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.

A Breath of Fresh Air

We recently had some changes in our library, which precipitated a change in the General Info sheet that we have on our desk.  Originally, I was just going to update the information, but it seemed like a good time to mix up the design too, as we haven’t in over two years.

Here’s the old design, heavy with institutional colors, a traditional image, and lots of text:

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And here’s the newer version with lots of white space and an image of our library that better represents our focus here (i.e., not solely books or even the physical world):

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So, yes, most of the text is still present, but I feel like it has more room to “breathe” with more white space.  I’ve retained our brand and color scheme, but simplified the design, and I’m a lot happier with the look.

Do you periodically update the look of publications in your library?  If you’ve done any of this lately, we’d love to see some before and afters!

If you are interested in the MS Publisher version of this design, contact April.

Flood of Information

Sometimes when bad things happen, you brush them under the rug and pretend they never happened. Other times, you have to address them, embrace them, and then celebrate them. I’m so happy that our library did the latter after our leak last year. We were lucky to have the institution’s full support to repair our space. Once we did that, we decided to throw a party to recognize those who helped us and to welcome back our patrons.

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When designing the invitations (above) for our celebration, our library felt that it was important to keep the theme very similar to that of the leak communications. As a group, we brainstormed ideas that would go with the droplet, and we came up with the idea of using an umbrella. It’s a protection device, and that’s what our role was during the leak–protecting both our collection and our patrons from harm. I presented the following designs to the library to vote on:

umbrellas

I used clipart umbrellas from Microsoft Word, filling some with colors and changing the outline colors.  I combined the umbrella image with multiple clipart rain droplets that I previously used.  This design was OK, but it felt like the library had endured more of a flood than just a few drops of water…so I used the curvy line drawing feature in Publisher to insert a “flood” that runs to the umbrella.  Our staff overwhelmingly voted for the flood rather than the drops, and they liked the simpler umbrella best, so we had an icon for our party invitation and publicity efforts.

This design opened a floodgate of ideas (sorry for the pun, but get ready for a lot more to come!).  We decided our party would include a self-guided “Flood of Information” tour, which would highlight the different spots in the library that were affected, as well as connect those spots to a fact about our services.  Each station, named after songs that we thought exemplified the experience, was an exhibit: we had a tape line that showed how far the water flooded; we displayed damaged books; we had pictures and videos from the leak; and we showed a video about disaster recovery.  The five stations were easily found with a map that was coordinated to blue paper droplets taped to the floor.  Below is the two-sided map we distributed to our guests (and I won’t even go into the boring details of making the map, although it probably took longer than any other part of the design!).

floodofinfotour

To make our party even more personalized, after the tour, we invited guests to enjoy homemade cookies that all of us on staff had baked.  It was a warm welcome back for our patrons and a real celebration of our successful recovery.

If you are interested in any of the designs above to modify for your own recovery or celebration, let me know.

When Bad Things Happen

There aren’t many things more tragic in a library than a flood.  When our ceiling gave way last week to a giant black waterfall over our bound journals and public area, we could hardly believe our eyes.  We’re still assessing the damage, but in the meantime, we have plastic sheeting hiding more than half of the library, loud noises, and confused patrons.  It was time to present a unified message to ease the communication about what happened.

I wanted to keep the feeling of these signs in tune with our overall aesthetic and color scheme, and I wanted every person who enters the library to see them.  I used the water droplet for the obvious reason that it graphically represents the gallons of water that flooded us, but I can also see it as a tear, and there were certainly a few of those as we sloshed through the mess last week.

I placed these half-sheet signs on all of the tables we have available.  The message is light, helpful, and thankful.

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On the front desk, I placed this larger sign to explain things a little more in details and to help our staff with the right words to say to patrons.

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Finally, we are because we quickly realized that our limited space is not enough to fill the needs of our patrons (a nice problem because it illustrates our usefulness),  I created this quick half-page handout to point out other computer areas nearby:

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Of course this design doesn’t do much to make us feel better about what is happening in our library, but it does serve an important role, and does it better than a hastily printed sign might.

I hope you don’t ever have a need for these signs, but if you do, email me for the original files.

Same Design, New Use

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).

iPad cleaner

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.

Promoting eResources in the Stacks

American Film Scripts Online

If your stacks are anything like ours then unused advertising space abounds. Our shelf end-caps have small signs with call number ranges on them and not much else. Theresa Mudrock and her colleagues at the University of Washington Libraries are “experimenting with posters in the stacks to highlight specific databases, subject guides and subject librarians.” It sounds like a fantastic use of dead space.

Oxford Bibliography Poster - Buddhism

This poster, created on MS Publisher, promotes our newly acquired module of Oxford Bibliographies. Similar posters were made for other modules including Hinduism, Political Science, etc. The posters were placed in the book stacks in the call number areas for the subject.

It’s a simple but effective marketing technique. Users are already looking for books in a particular subject area, so why not point them to other helpful resources?

ASFA Poster

For the original Publisher files of these posters, email Theresa Mudrock.

What Did You Do Today?

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.

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Poster created using Publisher

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Mail Bin Sign created using Photoshop

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Postcard created using Publisher

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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.

Advertising New Services

Libraries are adopting new technologies all the time.  But how do you get the word out about the new services to patrons?

Ernesto Hernandez, the Emerging Technologies Librarian at Marydean Martin Library at Nevada State College shared two recent designs he created to advertise new services.  About the iPad circulation sign below, Ernesto says, “although it is simple in design, I took an original picture of the iPad with my phone camera along with inserting a QR Code to our iPad LibGuide.”

iPad sign e hernandez

The second design Ernesto shared is a bookmark to promote his library’s newly created social media sites.  The library intends on inserting one into each book they check out.  Ernesto says, “we added our library symbol and phrase ‘Get Social with the Marydean Martin Library’ along with shortened URLs to each page.”

socialmediabookmark e hernandez

Using original designs, uniquely branding them to your own library, and placing them where patrons can’t help but notice them is a great way to promote services to patrons.

Want the original Publisher files of either of these documents?  Contact Ernesto Hernandez.

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