Recently in Outreach Category

Redesigning the Nature of Life Handout


The summer before College of Biological Science students start their freshmen year, they do a 1 week intensive retreat at the Itasca research center. A few years ago we were able to get a handout in the resources section of their 3-ring binder. However, over the years, it became out-of-date, and it was a time for a quick refresh, as we only had two days to work on it.

In reviewing past examples, I came up with some things to keep in mind during the redesign. Here are the elements of a good handout, in my opinion:

  • They are not a copy of the slides, rather they supplement the session

  • The handout uses a clear and easily readable type

  • The information naturally flows from one point to another

  • There should be a balance of white space to give the eyes a rest; this also can serve as a note-taking spot

  • Use images

  • Include your contact information

  • Have clear sections or headings, so attendees can follow along with the presentation

  • Where can they go for additional information? Include references, websites, etc.

  • Make the handout part of an activity, if possible. Engage the audience at different points with the handout.

  • Include the date created and contact, for easy updating later

  • Keep it to one page

Here are some of the previous handouts and comments on their design.

NOL1.jpg Design 1. It includes our branding, but was text heavy.

NOL2.jpg Design 2. This is a faculty handout. (I couldn't find the student one quickly, but the same design.) It uses a lot of color and images, and might be a bit too busy. We also found that the folks putting together the packets just photocopy, rather than print from the original file, and used black & white. This quickly degraded the quality of the images and made the contact information hard to read.

Design 3. This is a draft of the content we wanted to include, switching to mostly black and white. Still too text heavy, boring layout and too much white space.

Design 4. This was our final version for this year. The front page has the important information, our contact info and the liaisons the students will mostly be working with while at UMN. Before we have the middle empty, and that was too empty, so we made a word cloud based off of the text on the back and previous handouts. The back is a newspaper advertising-like layout. It has sound bite bits of information, and a few icons to break up the text. We also added a few grey blocks to break up the text as well.

Now on to redesigning for next year, as I will have a year to work on it, rather than dashing something off at the last minute. Also, I would like to work with the library staff at Itasca, to see how they might use the handout as an activity and build around that.

Schedule of Events
Food Expo

Held in the Great Hall of Coffman Memorial Union
9am - 5pm: Expo booths open
11am-1pm: Food provided by Birchwood Cafe and Common Roots Catering

11:30am: Good Food Rally Mayor R.T. Rybak to lead the Good Food Rally!
Mayor R.T. Rybak of Minneapolis and Mayor Chris Coleman of St. Paul are signing a joint proclamation, declaring October 24th as annual Food Day in the Twin Cities! Mayor Rybak, a representative from St. Paul and other local leaders will be a part of the Good Food Rally at the Food Expo at 11:30 AM on October 24th in the Great Hall of Coffman Union.

Food Day Sessions all day
Held in the Campus Club, Room ABC, 4th floor of Coffman

7pm: "Dirty Work" Film Screening (Science Teaching and Student Services building, Room 230) Trailer:

Embedding Librarian


Fcros.jpg I just proposed a book chapter for Embedded Librarians: Moving beyond one-shot instruction regarding my work with Extension. In this I will discuss my work with creating custom research guides, tutorials, videos and assisting in the promotion process through webinars. Along with the consultation role I have played with online programs and active learning strategies.

Friends School Plant Sale


Thanks to a brainstorm with my friend Rita at ALA midwinter, Magrath Library will have Plant Information Online postcards available at the Friends School Plant Sale, which draws hundreds of people to the State Fair grounds! We are sharing the Master Gardener table, so I am learning all sorts of things from just eavesdropping, along with adding in a bit about Plant Info when appropriate. below is the tutorial that I have running on my computer while there.

Where in the world is Kristen's office?


National Library Week



Study Break Events
Fuel up on some snacks and coffee in preparation for your exams. Library staff and SMART writing consultants are available for assistance with last minute papers.

April 13: Coffee & cookies at Magrath Library
Coffee served at 11am, cookies throughout the day

April 14 & 15: Free popcorn in the Magrath SMART
Learning Commons from 1-3pm in celebration of National Library Week

April 16: Coffee & cookies break at 1pm in the Magrath SMART Learning Commons in celebration of National Library Week

US- Japan Library Exchange


Being the librarian on the board of the St. Paul-Nagasaki Sister City Committee, when the topic of involving youth in our group and how we can do outreach, the libraries naturally came to mind. We are looking for one library in St. Paul and one Nagasaki to have manga book club in a bag programs. SPNSCC would supply the materials and discussion questions and the libraries would just need to promote the new program. Let's hope this turns into further programming for teens and YA.