Friday Design: Thank you ALLA!

Happy Friday, dear readers! I hope that today finds you and your family safe and healthy and looking forward to some small (or big) thing that is fun and relaxing this weekend. Today I want to take the time to say thank you,  publicly, to ALLA and remind us all of one of the best ways we can create better graphic design in libraries.

But what, you may be wondering is ALLA? ALLA is the Australian Law Librarians’ Association. I was honored and thrilled to present a webinar, Graphic Design 101 for Librarians, for the association this week. It was amazing to have so many people attend, especially during this uncertain and stressful time, and want to learn about graphic design and applying it to their work.

It was also almost miraculous that the Internet/wifi held strong through the entire presentation (I was worried as we’ve been having spotty connection issues at my house this last week). And the ALLA organizers did such a fantastic job that it was a pleasure. It can be really weird to deliver an entire presentation in a room all by yourself without the immediate feedback from an audience, but the feedback I’ve received after has been positive and I’m looking forward to the next time I’m able to do a similar webinar for my librarian colleagues.

This brings us to one of the best ways we can all create better graphic design in libraries: share our knowledge! Everything is new for someone, and this includes graphic design principles. If you have been studying and creating graphic design in your library, share your tips with colleagues. If you’ve found a great royalty-free site for images or icons or videos, let others know. If you’ve figured out a great way to streamline the design workflow, show your teammates.

Teaching through sharing is how we can ensure that more of our colleagues understand graphic design and can apply it to their work in libraries. This is how we will finally be able to say, someday, that we can think of more well-designed examples of graphic design in libraries than poor ones. And how we can get to more good than bad and ugly.

And, in the spirit of sharing, here’s a link to the handout I shared with ALLA. I hope it provides some inspiration and opportunities to further your graphic design work, too.

I wish you a wonderful day and rejuvenating weekend. May you stay safe, healthy, and find moments of peace and joy. Take care and I’ll be back soon with more news and notes. Allons-y, friends!

Why it's better to share

We all remember being told to share right? And that two heads are better than one? Well, just because we are in the library world now, and not in kindergarten, doesn’t mean these lessons don’t apply. In fact, it is even more important to share because there is just too much to do every day and way too much information out there for us to get it all.

But what particularly should we be sharing? Well, just about everything. Take a look at this piece from Library Journal by Michael Casey and Michael Stephens, The Transparent Library: Let’s All Lighten Up. In fact, if you like this, take a look at Michael Stephens’ blog, Tame the Web. Subscribe to his blog too–great stuff, I’ll probably be linking to some of his great posts here.

But you don’t care about other blogs, you just want a concrete example of why sharing is better than going it alone? Well, look no further than these databases of online learning objects. Creating new learning objects or modules takes a lot of time. So why reinvent the wheel when you don’t have to? Just make sure the modules you use are accessible, lots are but some aren’t, and link away to your heart’s content! Yes, some of these modules won’t be applicable for your course, but trust me, there are some great resources out there. Some resources to try:
OER: Open Educational Resources
MERLOT: Multimedia Educational Resources for Learning and Online Teaching
Online Learning Object Repository

And, as always, ask your colleagues what they are creating or have already created that you can use in your instructional sessions and classes. Remember it is better to share!