Monday, September 3, 2018

An Easy Way to Make Library Newsletters

How Do We Share New Materials?
One of the challenges in our high school library is how to share new materials with our users. Displays are usually an effective way to show off new titles that are ready to circulate. Some of our student patrons don't always have time to stop and look at our new book displays. Last year, we started brainstorming some other ways of outreach.

One Solution: A Newsletter
We discussed the possibility of using a monthly newsletter to feature some of the new titles. You may remember from my previous article that we had also started putting all new arrivals on a Google Doc to share with students. We thought a newsletter could be an eye-catching addition. Many of our avid readers were already in our library Google Classroom, and the newsletter was an easy way to share a brief monthly digital document with them.

An example of Peggy's work

Powerpoint to the Rescue
Peggy, one of our paraprofessional assistants, had previously experimented with Photoshop and Powerpoint. She decided to take on the task of building the newsletters in Powerpoint since she was familiar with it. Powerpoint is an easy platform for using graphics, clipart, text, and links. The task was fairly easy for her since she assists us in processing all new books. We were happy for her to pick her favorite titles and feature them in a newsletter. She also had the idea to video a few student booktalks and place them in the newsletters each month! 

Save as a PDF
Peggy discovered that she could save the Powerpoint slide as a PDF document. After she created the PDF, we could preview it before sharing in our Google Classroom. This system worked great for us last year, and several of our students enjoyed seeing the newsletters. We also periodically shared the newsletters with teachers. It was a great outreach to inform our users of new materials! You can view examples of these newsletters here.

Next Steps
This year the goal is for students to create the newsletters. Peggy has already asked a few students to take on this task. I think it will be much more powerful for our learners to produce these documents. In addition, students can use these as artifacts of their work in the years to come. I hope a team of students will eventually assist in the production of this outreach program.

Powerpoint is not the only option for creating newsletters. One might try Google Slides, Microsoft Sway, or any publishing software. It is easy to create attractive digital publications with all the powerful software currently available. If you have a favorite tool, please, share it in the comments below.

Other links that may interest you:

Our 2017-2018 Annual Report
Social Studies Maker Project Part 1

Social Studies Maker Project Part 2

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