Coloring has been the go-to stress reliever in libraries for a while now, so it was only a matter of time before we jumped on that bandwagon. And, honestly, I’m so glad we did. Students were very receptive (especially our student workers). One student worker kept taping blank sheets to the Desk to encourage collaborative coloring.
I bought two adult coloring books, tore out the pages, and made copies so I can keep the originals and put out copied sheets each semester (total cost $10). I then purchased 5 boxes of standard Crayola colored pencils. They were on SUPER sale at our local Pat Catan’s – only $2 per box!
I put the coloring pages in one of those office paper trays along with the container of sharpened pencils and this sign:
To promote the month-long event, I shared this on Facebook (made with Piktochart, as usual):
In sum, this was a very low cost/low labor activity that my students really loved. From now on, every November and April will be coloring month in my library!
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.
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!
We are a few weeks away from Live @ The Library and I am so proud of my poster design for this year’s event:
I was inspired by Vanity Fair covers from the 1920s and did the character drawings myself. I used ink pen and Prismacolor markers on mixed media paper, then cut the figures out and laid them on layered pieces of very old construction paper (which gave me the faded effect that I really adore). I uploaded my image into Piktochart and used the event logo I designed last year.
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:
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:
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.
Every year, OWU hosts its Sagan National Colloquium throughout Fall semester in order to explore a national/international issue from multiple educational angles. This year’s colloquium centers around water. The library creates a LibGuide in support of the various speakers/events that take place on campus, but I thought I’d take it a step further this year and add my mad button-making skills to the mix. Making buttons to help promote campus activities outside of the library is an excellent way to build rapport with faculty, staff, and students and be invested in campus as a whole.
Two versions of the colloquium logo and its adorable rubber ducky mascot.
I’m slowly building content. I decided to take a few pictures of informational posters and signs around the library and campus because I figure Instagram can be yet another place to deliver information to students. And maybe they’re not the hippest and most mind-blowing pieces of photographic art, but, hey, they get the job done, amiright?
My next venture is an Instagram/prize wheel game for tomorrow’s Freshmen Orientation Fair. More to come!
The library has some…odd titles.
Photos and hashtags on Instagram are a great way to reach out to other campus groups!
Over the next few weeks I will spend a lot of time in Microsoft Publisher and Paint, my design arsenal when it comes to button giveaways. I’m sure there are far more advanced programs I could be using, but this primitive tool belt suits me just fine. I will have buttons available for StART (OWU’s testing and registration event in early summer), Freshmen Orientation, and many other beginning of school year events/activities.
I use the 2-1/4 inch Button Machine by Neil Enterprises. I’ve had it for well over a year now and it is still in perfect condition. The press is very heavy duty and I only recently had to change the rotary cutter’s blade (spare blades are included in the kit). I purchased a 1000 piece button making supply package alongside the machine and still have plenty to last through the 2014/2015 academic year. This high-quality product and its companion supplies are well-worth the price.
As far as actual design goes, I am not limited to creating library-related buttons. The buttons are less a marketing product for our library and librarians, but another chance to connect with students. My hope is that a student will pin a button to her shirt or bag and when her friend asks, “Hey, where did you get that awesome button?” she’ll say, “My librarian gave it to me!”
I’ve had limited success polling students for button ideas via Facebook or otherwise, so I usually rely on my own pop culture knowledge or the suggestions of my colleagues. I rarely make more than 20 of a particular design so I can assess student response.