August 8, 2017

Helping librarians design materials that make the grade

Many librarians are looking for ways to create materials that reflect their level of professionalism, but who has time to do that? And even if you do find the time, you’re probably not also a graphic designer. When you want to create an entire series of materials that work well together visually and present you as a credible resource, the challenge is even greater.

Early Literacy Librarian Mollie Lancaster can relate. Her library system, Arapahoe Library District based in Englewood, Colorado, wanted to respond to a need in their community to help children and their caregivers prepare for kindergarten. Mollie envisioned a bag full of resources for participants to take home but was finding Publisher wasn’t measuring up. She wanted a consistent and clean format for her many pieces. That’s when she turned to LibraryAware. “I was very excited to start using LibraryAware because I knew that it would make it easier to create professional looking materials for my programs.”

“Building Blocks: a Kindergarten Readiness Program,” is a three-part series covering the essential skills children will need to succeed in kindergarten -- and beyond.

“Thanks to LibraryAware, this has been much easier to do than it would be with Publisher."

To ensure learning doesn't stop when the sessions end, participants receive a giveaway bag, including a free book and a handout with literacy reminders and activities. They have the opportunity to check out a backpack filled with books and tools on one topic, and each backpack comes with a sheet of activity ideas. Each handout is designed using LibraryAware.

“I include information about what state standards we practiced during the program, why they're important, and how caregivers can continue to work on them at home in an engaging way.”

Mollie has created 89 documents to date for her program. “With LibraryAware, I’ve been able to ensure the multiple handouts had a consistent format. I’m even expanding one of the handouts to provide more information. Thanks to LibraryAware this has been much easier to do than it would be with Publisher.”

Mollie’s program is a big hit with caregivers and children alike. Now with LibraryAware, her materials are well-designed and it’s easy to have all items look like they’re part of a larger package. She thinks her materials turn out great and we agree. LibraryAware lets Mollie spend less time designing and more time helping families learn early literacy skills.  And we like that outcome most of all! 

Mollie Lancaster is an Early Literacy Librarian with the Arapahoe Library District. She loves helping caregivers and parents prepare their children to read by working early literacy into their daily lives. 

Kathy Lussier is a LibraryAware Community Coordinator. Want to know if LibraryAware can help your library? Let us show you.


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