I’ve never taken a creative design course, but I’ve learned one thing from creating years worth of signage for different libraries: no one wants to read your sign. It’s probably too small, or too long, or placed in the wrong location, or has a bad font, or bad colors. If it’s not eye-catching, you basically just created that sign for yourself.
I’ve experimented a lot with memes for library Facebook pages over the years. You can see some of my past examples here, but I basically discovered that information told in the form of a joke is much more likely to be looked at and retained. You can either post a paragraph about how your closed on Sundays due to the summer, or you can do something far more effective like:
Information is conveyed easy and effectively. Plus it takes your staff out of their traditional role and makes them tiny celebrities in their community. And most importantly, it shows that the library knows how to have fun and is a place worth visiting. It’s just more effective.
That brings us to our current situation. Do to the recent pandemic, we wanted some way to talk about how we were partially reopening, but there were rule changes and limitations on services that needed to be talked about. But how do you convey A BUNCH of new rule changes in a fun way??
I’ve always loved 1940’s “mental hygiene” films–I find them so ridiculous now, as they covered everything from grooming to nuclear war. But in a way, it was the 1940’s version of meme marketing. Instead of writing this all out for you, they knew it would be more effective to have a visual component. It just didn’t age the best 🙂
So I decided to borrow on that idea; this was a way to be stuffy and talk about nothing but the rules because that was the whole point of these films. By making fun of this genre, we conveyed the information in a hilarious way and got the point across.
The entire film was made on iMovie, with a few pictures made on Powerpoint. So it doesn’t take a whole lot to create something like this. The response from our community and the library community at large, was SUPER positive. If nothing else, it was just a fun way to tell everyone that we’re open and ready to have fun again.
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