librarians

Use Piktochart Photo Frames For Quick, Eye-Catching Digital Signage

Filling our digital signage is a constant point of stress for me. I hate when content goes stale, don’t you? Every week I receive free, high-res photos from Unsplash. I use these photos for creative inspiration, but sometimes they work out just great for marketing. The sad little pug was in this week’s Unsplash email and I couldn’t resist his face. I think a lot of my students can relate to his look of distress (especially as we careen towards semester’s end). I created the two images below using Piktochart Photo Frames.

sadpugstartcircsign.png

checkoutlocker.png

Fun fact: Don’t Carry It All is the name of a song by one of my favorite bands, The Decemberists. Thanks for the inspiration, Colin!

High School Outreach Is Important…AND FUN!

Earlier this week, I had the privilege of meeting with AP Composition classes at a nearby high school. Interacting with high school students is an integral part of my work. Not only do I help the students themselves, but I also benefit from interacting with an age group that is so very similar to my own first year students.

I was asked to speak about the differences between high school and college research under the assumption that, as AP students, many of them would test out of first year composition. I wanted to tailor my presentation as much as possible to this particular group, so I asked them to answer a few questions using a Google form.

Google forms are gloriously easy to set up. Be sure to select Paragraph Text as the Question Type so responses can be as long as necessary.

Google forms are gloriously easy to set up. Be sure to select Paragraph Text as the Question Type so responses can be as long as necessary.

I didn’t want to use my session for search strategies or resources instruction (students would get that later from their own librarian). And rather than focus solely on library resources and college-level research, I wanted to address anxieties students might be feeling about college life in general. I saw patterns in their responses to my questions that made it easy to come up with content for my presentation.

My presentation consists of five slides. The first four address the questions I asked via the Google form and the last contains words of wisdom from OWU seniors and recent graduates.

For presentation mode, click here: https://magic.piktochart.com/output/5087713-olentangylibertyhs

To see it in presentation mode, click here:
https://magic.piktochart.com/output/5087713-olentangylibertyhs

This was my first time using Piktochart‘s presentation mode and, of course, I found it incredibly easy to work with. I started from a template, but did a lot of customization. I kept consistent design elements throughout (like font and color) which made the process much easier as I could focus on wording and layout.

If you’d like to know more about my presentation, please comment and I’ll happily elaborate.

Piktochart + MS Paint = My Marketing Toolkit

My library is hosting a very special event later this month that has me creating a bunch of teaser ads (a post about the event will be along shortly, I promise). My latest ad was made possible by good ole MS Paint and, of course, Piktochart.

Using Google, I found these paper doll clothing images:

paperdollgirls

 paperdollboys

 

The yellow dress and blue suit were just the aesthetic I was looking for, so I pasted each picture into MS Paint and used the Free Form Selection tool to cut the individual items out. I used that same tool to copy the yellow tabs from the blue suit and affix them to the dress (in design, I prefer matchy matchy).

Here’s the finished product:

Live@LibraryPlayDressUp

Teaser ad for Live @ The Library

Since this ad is just a teaser for the event, I only included the date. The official event poster including time and event logo will be released closer to the event. College kids have very short attention spans and very busy schedules. The slow reveal of event details will hopefully keep them interested.

 

Design School On A Budget (Which Is To Say…Free)

I’m always looking for design inspiration these days. I’m using my phone to snap pictures of everything from postcards to book covers, concert posters to clothing tags, food labels to directional signage, and more. The other day I was noodling about in our art stacks when I happened across this graphic design book:

Graphic Design Referenced: A Visual Guide to the Language, Applications, and History of Graphic Design

Graphic Design Referenced: A Visual Guide to the Language, Applications, and History of Graphic Design

At this very moment, it’s sitting next to my keyboard full of those tiny post-it notes used to bookmark pages. It covers design and typography with a wealth of examples from famous designers, brands, and design companies dating as far back as 1876.

So far I’ve made two objects based on things I’ve seen in this book. The first is a poster for an upcoming library event designed in the style of the cover of a 1950 issue of the British publication Typographica:

Live@LibraryTeaser (1)The second is an image for use on Facebook and in our Screenly playlist that runs on a flat screen tv next to the help desk (more on Screenly in a future post):

This isn't based on a specific image from the book. I like to think I'm learning something about drawing the eye and effective fonts.

This isn’t based on a specific image from the book. I like to think I’m learning something about drawing the eye and effective fonts.

The images were, of course, created using Piktochart. I plan to continue to use this book to help me design learning objects for the classroom, marketing materials, library signage, and more.

On a side note, the authors of Graphic Design Referenced include this note in their introduction:

IMAG2811_1

I can’t say I disagree with their decision.

We Went Piktochart PRO!

OWU Libraries has Piktochart PRO status. This means no more Piktochart watermark, high resolution downloads, printer-friendly options, and access to a bunch of sweet templates. I’m going to go on a library/librarians/library services advertising binge (more to come on why later).

Librarians are soldiers on the front of information overload.

Librarians are soldiers on the front of information overload.

An Easy Way To Collaborate With Your Campus Writing Center

It’s no secret that collaborating and supporting campus services strengthens the library’s relationships and increases its value and visibility. Thanks to a suggestion from OWU’s Writing Resource Center faculty, my library was able to provide space and marketing for a much-needed “after-hours” student service.

Our campus Writing Resource Center serves students by helping them become more confident, effective writers. Students can drop by or schedule an appointment during regular business hours to get help from experienced faculty on any type of writing assignment. However, on a small, residential campus like OWU, student schedules are often packed to the gills between 9 am and 5 pm (class, sports, lunch, naps, etc.).

Enter the library.

We’ve begun hosting a Writing Center Drop-in Table a few nights each month from 7 – 9 pm. The table is staffed by student peer-tutors and a librarian (when a librarian is available). Our first two tables were a great success with 6 students stopping by each night (a strong turn out for a campus this size). The writing center faculty advertised directly to our freshmen composition faculty and I did marketing through Facebook and the library website.

Now that we’ve got our advertising and LibGuide established, there is little I need to do each time new dates are announced. It’s another great way to get students into the library and promote the use of our space by other campus organizations.

If you can't already tell, I once again used Piktochart to create this (in my humble opinion) most excellent web advertisement.

If you can’t already tell, I once again used Piktochart to create this (in my humble opinion) most excellent web advertisement.

And this is the image I created for our website's rotating carousel.  Again, the glory that is Piktochart!

And this is the image I created for our website’s rotating carousel. Again, the glory that is Piktochart!

Piktochart Has Changed My Life

Let it be known, I am obsessed with infographics. In a previous post, I showcased one of my infographic-style learning objects that I made using Microsoft Publisher and Paint. Using these tools for this purpose has been less than ideal and I’m often left wondering if there is an easier way.

Well, friends, there is and it’s called Piktochart.

In addition to being incredibly easy to use, it is chock full of design inspiration. I signed up quickly via Facebook and am working on a citation infographic which I promise to post here when it’s ready, but in the meantime check THIS OUT:

Why Google Drive

Sure, I have a few things to learn about layout and spacing, but I’d say I’m off to a darn good start.