RA 101: Making Your Own RA Resources

Making RA bookmarks:

Creating your own RA list bookmarks can be a hassle, but they are so incredibly useful. Here are some tips to make it easier for you!

Do:

  • Design them yourself
  • Print them yourself, or at your library
  • Tell your coworkers about them
  • Share them at school visits

Don’t:

  • Spend too much time or money on them
  • Get them professionally printed
  • Make too many at once
  • Worry about them looking fancy

The best way that I’ve found to make my own bookmarks and print them myself is to use an online photo editing service. I design, save, and print them on cardstock all from my own desk. I could ask my PR department to print them with their fancy printers, but I won’t ask to have them professionally printed because: it costs too much, I’ll get way more than I’ll use, and the titles will be out of date before I even know it.

My favorite photo editing website is Picmonkey, and my library has a subscription to it so I can use all the Premium features. Canva is another nice, and free option for online photo editing and design. Both PicMonkey and Canva give you the “design” option with which you can create something completely new without using a background photo first.

That’s what I did to create the bookmarks pictured below! Each one only took me a few minutes…so imagine how much cooler they would look if you spent a little more time on yours!
Hi-Lo Bookmark 1 YA Zombies Bookmark YA Sci-Fi Romance BookmarkYA Paranormal Romance BookmarkYA Historical BookmarkLGBTQ+ YA BookmarkHi-Lo YA Bookmark 2YA Contemp Bookmark

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bookmarks w/ mini reviews:

Another recent, and super quick, technique for passive RA is to write very short reviews on the back of bookmarks or on cardstock and stick them in books that you put on display. It gives your display books I little bit of extra attention and tells the browser that someone loved the book enough to put it on display.

IMG_20150505_111048IMG_20150505_111028

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Book Lists

I find that making book lists can be tedious and time-consuming, but ultimately so worth it. Book lists are the ultimate RA tool, and you can tailor them to your library’s collection! You can also share them with your coworkers, print them out for patrons to use, and make digital versions with links to Goodreads and your library’s catalog.

However, book lists are constant WIPs – you’ve got to update them when additions are made to your collection, when series get weeded, or when a series gets bigger. Links might change, and updating those can be a hassle. But I think the value far outweighs the cost, especially since they’re something you can even get coworkers or volunteers to help you construct and maintain.

Here is a link to my book lists, on Google Drive and available for everyone (including my coworkers!) to use and share.

 

What kinds of RA resources do you use at your library? What works or doesn’t work for you? Share in the comments or on our Facebook page!

 

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