This blog is no longer maintained. Please visit our new blog.

e-learning does not have to be boring!

Subject Line: Amigos Online Class: Instructional Design 101 for the Busy Librarian

Amigos has partnered with Fearless Future, a consulting firm with experience supporting libraries employees feeling unhappy, to offer a course covering the fundamentals of designing and developing a self-paced tutorial. The course is scheduled in the Amigos online classroom Wednesdays March 30 –May 5, 2011.

Instructional Design 101 for the Busy Librarian
Dates and Time: March 30, April 6, 13, 20, 27, and May 4, 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. Central Time each day
This course consists of six 2-hour sessions.

Known for creating engaging and practical workshops, online classes, and presentations, Fearless Future instructors Mary Evangeliste and Yvonne Mery will guide you through the steps of creating effective and engaging tutorials for staff development, patron training, salary paystub for your employees payment or library instruction, learn to improve your engagement rate on TikTok. Participants will get hands-on experience in the development of a tutorial as they work with different rapid e-learning authoring tools. This comprehensive course is easy to access and will help you quickly master the skills of developing or presenting training

Yvonne Mery

Yvonne Mery

Yvonne Mery is currently an instructional design librarian at the University of Arizona Libraries. Before becoming a librarian Yvonne taught English as a Second Language abroad and in the US. Yvonne’s most recent work has concentrated on best practices in online teaching, information literacy online instruction, and assessment. Yvonne has given several workshops and presentations on these themes including presentations at LOEX of the West, the Annual Conference on Distance Teaching and Learning, the Technology, Colleges, and Community Online Conference, and the Arizona Library Association. Yvonne recently co-authored a chapter in the book “Best Practices for Credit-Bearing Information Literacy Course” that chronicles the development and implementation of an online information literacy course. In addition to her MLS, Yvonne also holds an MA in Applied Linguistics and a BA in English Literature.

Mary Evangeliste

Mary Evangeliste

Mary Evangeliste is the owner of “Fearless Future: Consulting for things that matter.” She has written and presented widely over the past five years on change management and non-profit marketing. Mary is the co-author of the best-selling book “Bite Sized Marketing: Realistic Solutions for the Overworked Librarian.” Some of the local and national groups Mary has taught with include the State Department, Maryland School of Art and Design, Prince George’s Community College, University of Pittsburgh, Amigos, and Lyrasis. She holds a B.A. in Art History from Allegheny College and an M.L.I.S. from the University of Pittsburgh. Before Mary worked in museums and libraries she had her own dog walking business, was an art consultant, and managed an alt-rock band as well she just to do payroll administration services.

Read the full course description and register today:

Amigos is an IACET authorized continuing education provider.

For the most up-to-date training schedule, a complete list of courses, descriptions, and a convenient online registration form, visit or contact Chris Brown at Amigos, 1-800-843-8482, ext. 2829, or
Copyright Amigos Library Services, Inc. 2010, All rights reserved.
Amigos Library Services | 14400 Midway Road | Dallas, TX 75244-3509

Order our book!

Bite-Sized Marketing
Sorry we have been away for so long!

But, we have great news, you can now order our book Bite-Sized Marketing; realistic solutions for the overworked librarian!

ALA Editions, the publishing imprint of the American Library Association (ALA), announces the release of “Bite-Sized Marketing: Realistic Solutions for the Overworked Librarian,” by Nancy Dowd, Mary Evangeliste, and Jonathan Silberman. This book shares simple and cost-effective approaches to effective library marketing in a format that reflects the way people read today. Filled with contemporary marketing ideas, the authors provide:

  • How-tos of guerrilla marketing
  • Cutting-edge digital marketing practices
  • Benefits of traditional print media

Visually compelling and thoroughly practical, this book challenges librarians to market libraries in new and original ways.

Click here to purchase it from ALA.

Contact us and we can get you a $5 coupon.

Bite-Sized Marketing

Bite-Sized Marketing

Mary and I have been working extremely hard on our new book with our good friend Nancy Dowd.

The book, Bite-Sized Marketing; solutuions for the overworked librarian, will be coming out this summer from ALA.
Keep an eye out for it!

Recruit the right people !

I very rarely share blog posts, but I think that anyone who is going any kind of promotion/outreach/marketing or whatever you call it should read this.

Hi, my name is Jonathan and I’m a typography nazi.

A case of woodblock letters
Whew, it feels good to get that off my chest. Now if only I could be a grammar nazi. [feel free to just ignore the thirty or so grammatical errors in this post]

Receding Hairline has a great post on the most common typographical errors.

For example, one of my pet peeves… the ever elusive en and em dashes.

A hyphen… should really only be used when linking words such as ready-made. It shouldn’t even be used mathematically to represent a minus, as there’s a dedicated character for that, too. Most other uses mandate an en dash – as here, for example – or when planning meetings from 1–2. Changing fashions mean the the long dash—this one, called an em dash—is rarely seen, but where it is, it’s usual to render it without the spaces on either side or with special hairline spaces instead.

[via lifehacker]

Playing with Color

I was working on a new site design with Mary this past weekend, when we started to play around with colors for the layout.
I showed her a website that Adobe created that allows you to create color palettes with up to five colors and see how they interact with each other. The site is called Kuler (get it?? color spelled funny) and is supremely useful. You can create your own combinations or just browse the site for inspiration.

Another site that I love to browse for color inspiration (but have yet to use their palette creation capabilities) is ColourLovers.

Do you know the Muffin Man?


A few years ago my cousin Ashley, who is quite the fashion plate, tipped me off to the fact that men had started wearing girl jeans. Pockets were in strange places and there were frayed cuffs here and there, but that is nothing in comparison to the filigree that is happening these days. Although, I have to say, even back then I never thought I would see so many man muffin tops.

So I had to laugh when I picked up the current issue of Details magazine at a friend’s house this weekend and read the article It’s Time to Lose the Embellished Jeans by Katherine Wheelock. It is good to see a magazine like Details putting the breaks on this frightening trend of girlie jeans for men; bring back the good ol’ Wranglers and Levis!

Cards & Campaigns

Hey All! This is Malia, Fearless Future intern, contributing my first blog post! I just wanted to share some interesting artwork I came across.

While working at the UA library, a good citizen turned in a few lost items one of those being a library card from the Tempe Public Library here in Arizona. I’ve got to say, I’ve never seen a cooler library card! I was intrigued and looked up Tempe Public Library under the assumption that they must have a really awesome marketing department. It turns out there are four specially designed cards by artists in Arizona that have references to the common theme of mass transit. Mary Lucking designed the one I came across, shown here.


Before looking up the design of this card, I had no idea what the image was about. A friend of mine guessed that the guy in the picture was simply taking the light rail. I thought it was a good guess, but it’s actually a scene from the artist’s favorite book called The Master and Margarita, when a cat tries to board a Moscow street car.

Also, here’s an interesting slideshow called Reading Tea Leaves and Campaign Logos I found while wandering around The New York Times website. It humorously analyzes various campaign logos for current presidential candidates. One of my favorites is shown here.


It’s all about selection

Just recently I read a quote from Don Joyce (of Negativland) on Wired and it seemed suitable to libraries and marketing. Joyce says:

“Selectivity becomes of prime importance, whether it’s looking for content or trying to find what you’re looking for in a thousand pages of search results. As Duchamp and Warhol predicted before they ever saw a computer, there is an art and a message in the act of selection itself.”

Working in libraries over the years, I have noticed one thing come up over and over again: librarians do not understand the fine art of selection. Yes, they are well meaning. When an undergraduate comes to a class or to the reference desk librarians always try to tell the student everything.

Instead we need to retrain ourselves to only impart exactly the information that is needed.

In marketing this means that we have to choose our images with great care. This is one of the reasons that Jonathan and I want to rid the world of clip art.

Both Warhol and Duchamp were excellent at picking out something in everyday life and calling it art. Warhol’s most famous piece of art is the Campbell’s Soup Can and Duchamp’s is the Urinal—and before you can say “I can do better than that”–the truth is you didn’t!—And that is the thing about art and selection and I think that we should all embrace this idea: every image we use to promote our services and activities has weight, so choice carefully!

Every person should consider themselves an artist when choosing, because in our overly media saturated world the choice itself becomes a kind of art.

A social networking site I can get behind

Everyone in libraryland and beyond is talking about the power of Web 2.0. And why not, there is a lot to be excited about in the world of interactivity such as open tagging and reader reviews in library catalogs. But librarians having myspace and facebook profiles? I mean eek let the students have their own space.

Hey don’t get me wrong, if you happen to be a librarian and you also love these tools and you use them to talk to your friends then by all means bring your library-ness along for the ride. What I object to is trying to fit a round peg into a square hole. I guess what I am saying is don’t force it!

I think going onto myspace after a certain age (and I am definitely of that age) is kinda creepy. It reminds me of when I was a young alt-youth trading obscure music all around the country with friends. Everyone was sharing music through the mail and it was intimate and oh-so age specific, I mean back then you didn’t hear of band like the Flaming Lips until someone snuck them into a mix tape and then you were hooked. Then there were always these creepy older guys hanging around who wanted to be in the scene, they wanted to pay to take you to a show or something else enticing (especially when you are broke). It always felt forced and just, well, weird and if I were in my twenties and logging onto myspace every five mintues (which I am sure I would be doing) I would not be looking to talk with my librarian.

I think every generation should have there own space, and by the very definition of individuation, it should be theirs alone.

But, here is a social networking site I can get behind. Good Reads: check me out
What did nerdy people like me do before the internet? Trade books and tapes with friends through the mail, of course. So Goodreads is just a logical extension for all of us now scattered across the country. We look at each other’s stuff –like the other day I saw two friends, one in DC and one in Austin, reading the same book-hmmm! They don’t know each other so you can bet I am interested in this book now…

Speaking of Austin, if you are into music you should check out two documentaries that are sad, strange and beautiful:

Your gonna miss me : A film about Roky Erickson
The Devil and Daniel Johnson