Press Releases Good News + New Digital Signs

This morning I spotted a copy of one of the local newspapers. The Town’s two newspapers are weekly, so we only have to check once a week to see if our press releases got in. Two did! I congratulated the departments on their good work. Then I fired up Asana where I added the details about which articles were approved in which newspapers. We’ll see over the next year if we can detect patterns.

Courtesy of Darien Library

Courtesy of Darien Library

I didn’t have many “regular” panels to make this week. However, I had to address the issue of how a digital sign with light coming from behind looks way different than a physical sign even if they have the same colors. I made a digital panel with 8 variations on the selected color then went upstairs with the not-right printed sign to do a comparison. Two of my colleagues lent me their eyes on this project. No winners the first time. I went back downstairs and made another test screen. This time we selected something which will “blend” (as my colleagues described it).

Then I spent quite a bit of time re-working a few of the signs. You can see an example of one of them to the right. My secret to designing things: public domain images. This art is by Nakamura Daizaburo.

Yesterday I talked with one of the admins about signage and branding for a few minutes. She said that she liked that our signs are within a certain color scheme. It really ties everything together when all the signs are somewhere on the blue-green spectrum. While evaluating the digital sign, I stepped backwards and looked around the first floor. Yes, I could see what she means. It feels like we’re a little closer to my ideal of having a consistent feel like Target does: your brand colors everywhere.

Tomorrow I’ll share the fun video Krishna and I made to advertise the Stuffed Animal Sleepover. Just got to find some fun holiday music for the background.

Fixing Dates in Excel

I was inspired by a project in my marketing class to dig through our data to look for some basic demographics information. Very quickly I got hit with Excel acting up on dates. All I wanted was the year.

* Highlight the column in question.
* Go to Home > Cells > Format > Format Cells.
* Choose Date then select *3/14/2012 > OK.
* Go to Home > Cells > Format > Format Cells.
* Choose Custom then in the box below Type, change it to yyyy.

Ta-dah! I kept trying to do delimited and text-into-columns, etc. Garbage kept coming out.

Shelf Marker

Courtesy of Darien Library

Courtesy of Darien Library

This is just the end of a shelf marker. The whole thing is the size of a bookmark which includes the following text:

* Title
* Author
* Description
* Reminder that this is an always available title

I spent a lot of time revising this project, then sending in a help ticket to get it laminated properly. I also met with my colleague to discuss revising the museum brochure, working on a publicity plans for museum passes and another one for the January book sale.

Feeling Good

I was buried again, but at the end of the day, I feel fairly accomplished. We’re launching a heightened focus on NoveList next week and I’ve been working closely with Reader’s Advisory on the launch. I made that mockup a couple weeks ago and found out the pricing for a custom sign last week. I sent my colleagues to the Noun Project last week to look for icon ideas. The press release was sent out last week today.

However, today was the first day I really dug into it. By working so closely with everyone, today we developed the icon that then went into the logo. From there we chose colors, revised our previous vision, and made the desktop wallpaper. Tomorrow I’ll take the final measurements and do a color test before designing that custom sign.

I also did a mockup for new semi-permanent signs for our first floor. We’ll likely meet next week to solidify the plan before I make the final designs. This project makes me anxious though I was told the signs may go up for only two years. The previous signs I made have been up for nearly four years!

Them I created bookmarks to promote our Lonely Planet travel guides. That’s the project where we have a year-long plan for in place to promote it steadily.

I did a lot of planning today. The final interesting thing that ties into this was going through the items to promote our latest book groups’ video. We’re really ramping up publicity there, so it’ll be interesting to see the turnout in hits.

Maniac Mondays

I got hit with a stiff neck today that crushed my skull which led to me slowing down in trying to comprehend what I was working on. A real delight. On the other hand, I managed to push through and…

* Checked Tumblr on behalf of my colleague who is on vacation
* Create, print, and deliver “library closed” signs for Thanksgiving
* Emails, so many
* Chatted with a patron about a genealogy program for 20 minutes that we’re coordinating
* Work on an upcoming project that premiers next Monday
* UX meeting
* Created this week’s events email
* Wrote up the publicity plan results from Mini Golf
* Wrote up two pages of things to address at the Public Services meeting from the publicity POV (I attend once a month)
* Made a poster for an upcoming art program and mounted it
* Attended the Public Services meeting
* Did video edits and some uploads
* Scheduled out some tasks
* Uploaded the Five Minutes with Jen video and inserted it into the Book Groups email. Hopefully I can send it out first thing tomorrow.
* Was consulted to ask about changing the name of a project and tweaking the proposed logo.

Strike a Pose

November 15th
I haven’t felt much like doing anything as you may imagine. Just very, very tired. However, this doesn’t mean I’ve slowed down at work. My favorite thing is that we put up the Escape the Laboratory poster. Otherwise, I sent out emails to setup meetings for museum passes, book groups email, and social media content. I finished the slow process of pulling in stats for October’s MailChimp emails. I then did a bit of an analysis on that. This triggered a flurry of emails as we debated whether a specific demographic-only program should be sent to the primarily adults mailing list. It triggered some unsubscribes which made me uneasy since those are hard fought.

Met with my colleague to discuss promoting the Lonely Planet travel guides which have no holds on them. We outlined some specs on what she wanted then I put it into Asana and charted it out. I then printed the list for her and highlighted her portions. She’s highly unlikely to join me on the Asana train, so I had to take it to her.

We then returned for more improv. I struck a pose from my favorite Madonna video while shouting, “Vogue!” No one got it. I was a little disappointed.


November 16th
Sick day.

November 17th
Catching up was hard. The only thing I managed to get under control was my emails. My head swam for most of the day and my colleague told me I was still pale. Awesome. But I managed to clear out my inbox, send out the press releases, get my panels done, finish the weekly events email, print out a poster, be on desk for two hours, and work on the big NoveList project. Not terrible.

Escape the Laboratory Poster

Courtesy of Darien Library

Courtesy of Darien Library

It’s been a hard week, but I like this poster I designed for an upcoming Escape Room project. The accompanying website will be built next week. The lady’s head and the two objects coming off the sides will be supported by additional supports on the back of the foam board poster. I worked on the design of the poster with my coworker Krishna.

Note: the beaker behind the E drives me nuts. I tried moving it around, but that didn’t look right either.


I didn’t get much done today and not because it’s Election Day. Sure, we got up early and went out, but for the most part, that was something I could leave aside while working. Instead, I was called upon over and over to assist others, so my first 90 minute scheduled project of the day was put off entirely. As someone who loves schedules and sticking to them, this was unsettling as I watched my time slip away from fingers that couldn’t grasp it. Oh, well! Our videographer and I did manage to go through videos together and check them.

The big thing today was staff development with improv. I’m not sure I’m suited to it. My colleagues’ goals were about confidence while mine was “make people laugh.” Then I completely froze up and couldn’t think on my feet nor have the energy to get into the jumping movements. My shoulder also complained, so I spent a lot of time nursing it. However, I did learn that my Disney princess walk is Jasmine in red. :-)

Regarding today’s historical election, things have been odd. For days people everywhere in the world have been sad and mournful about “the end of the world.” Then today I heard only optimism. Such hope.

Update, 11/9/2016: Tweets from all over describe people openly weeping and “It is quiet uptown.” An elegant, but sob-inducing read is An American Tragedy by David Remnick.

The election of Donald Trump to the Presidency is nothing less than a tragedy for the American republic, a tragedy for the Constitution, and a triumph for the forces, at home and abroad, of nativism, authoritarianism, misogyny, and racism. Trump’s shocking victory, his ascension to the Presidency, is a sickening event in the history of the United States and liberal democracy. On January 20, 2017, we will bid farewell to the first African-American President—a man of integrity, dignity, and generous spirit—and witness the inauguration of a con who did little to spurn endorsement by forces of xenophobia and white supremacy. It is impossible to react to this moment with anything less than revulsion and profound anxiety.

The thought in the back of my mind is this: we’re going to look so damn foolish in history books. The damage to come is already done now.

Mondays are for Tidying Up

I technically did fourteen separate tasks today. Several of those were repeated over the course of the day or split up around scheduled things. For instance, emails, writing monthly reports, and processing video footage. Overall, not a super exciting day to write about. I did get the weekly events email written in two-hours. Hearing back from two of my coworkers, it doesn’t sound like changes really need to be made, so I’ll likely formally schedule the email tomorrow.

We did do one fun thing, the Mannequin Challenge, which is the latest social media craze.