Teen Librarian Toolbox
Inside Teen Librarian Toolbox

Using Canva to Promote Library Services, a guest post by Lisa Krok

We have all had to pivot quite a bit during the pandemic to find alternate ways to serve patrons. I never expected that video production and editing would be part of my job as a librarian, but here we are. *Whispers* and you know what? I kind of enjoy it! Canva is a fantastic tool for promoting library resources via social media, websites, etc. I know some folks are thinking, “But my library doesn’t have funds for a fancy graphics program like that”. GOOD NEWS: Canva Pro is FREE to public libraries! That means you get all the bells and whistles that normally sell for a premium.

Free Canva Pro for Public Libraries

There is a plethora of things you can do with Canva Pro. You can select the type of media you are creating from a menu of Facebook posts, Instagram posts, flyers, posters, videos, presentations, and more. When you select the type of media you are creating, Canva automatically sizes the blank template for you. So for example, Instagram posts are automatically sized as square. Once you are in your preferred media type, then you can create completely from scratch, use a pre-made template, insert photos from Canva library, add animations or stickers, music, and more. You can also upload photos and videos into Canva to use within the graphic you are making.

Here are some examples of templates I created that can be reused to promote different materials, which are then posted on our social media:

I also generated reader’s advisory templates with a Like, Try, Why format:

As libraries have gone through different phases of physical access for patrons, digital media circulation has skyrocketed in lieu of physical materials moving as much. In addition to Hoopla as pictured in templates, we utilize the OverDrive platform and our local schools have access to Sora. Sora is a school version of OverDrive. Once schools have Sora, they can access our library’s OverDrive collection by simply logging into the Sora app with their student IDs. This eliminates issues of students not having a valid library card, not knowing their passwords, etc. (Although we certainly encourage library cards!)

Since our programming is now virtual, Canva Pro has been useful with creating informational videos, how-to crafts, booktalks, games, and more.

Voting information was crucial for both teens that were 18 and adults for the election in November. I was able to screen shot this video tutorial with voting information:

Voting Informational Video

I had some fun with this one:

How to Wear a Mask

We do multiple booktalks each month, here are some examples with Canva Pro:

Wintry Recs with Lisa

Sharon Flake Booktalk

An Ember in the Ashes Finale  

(I was Helene for Halloween so she makes a cameo here!)

Oh the Horror!

For more videos from our staff, visit our You Tube channel:

Morley Library You Tube Channel

In August, we usually take a break from programming after summer reading. I thought this would be the perfect time for a Guess Who contest on social media, since we weren’t posting new programs that month.

Be creative! Canva Pro is a rabbit hole and I am still finding new ways to jazz up our posts and find new virtual ways to serve our patrons. Have fun!

Lisa Krok, MLIS, MEd, is the adult and teen services manager at Morley Library and a former teacher in the Cleveland, Ohio area. She is the author of Novels in Verse for Teens: A Guidebook with Activities for Teachers and Librarians. Lisa’s passion is reaching marginalized teens and reluctant readers through young adult literature. She recently concluded a term on the Best Fiction for Young Adults committee (BFYA 2021), and also served two years on the Quick Picks for Reluctant Reader’s team. Lisa can be found being bookish and political on Twitter @readonthebeach.