For the full list of Infopeople training offerings please see the 2011/2012 Training Program.



Title:  Promote, Inform, Educate: Creating Effective Materials for Your Library Community


Dates: October 25, 2011 – November 21, 2011


To register for this course:  Click the link to Online Registration at:


Fee:  $75 for those in the California library community and Infopeople Partners, $150 for all others.

Do you create promotional flyers, outreach materials, or informational handouts for your library community? This course can help you produce pieces that communicate more effectively with external audiences. You'll learn new ways to focus and present your key messages through words and layout—and get the results you're looking for.

Whether you're creating a flyer announcing an author reading, a letter inviting new parents to storytime, or a how-to sheet on downloading ebooks, communications professional Laurie Putnam will help you:

·        Identify what your target audience needs from the materials.

·        Develop strategies for producing materials more efficiently.

·        Create materials that are focused, effective, and visually appealing.

·        Ensure that your materials reinforce your library's identity and key messages.

You'll learn to develop materials that effectively promote your library and inform and educate your community.

Course Description: This four-week online course will give you strategies for increasing the impact of the materials you produce for your library community. Readings, examples, and discussions will help you un-clutter your message, share challenges, and explore solutions. Because your library is probably connected to a larger organization—perhaps a city or county, a college or university, a hospital or company—we'll also share tips for tapping into your parent organization's resources and reinforcing its key messages.

Bring a project of your own to the course, and you'll get the job done while you apply new techniques and skills. You'll come away from the course with planning worksheets, messaging and layout guidelines, and practical tips that you can apply to your work projects immediately. And you'll learn about online sources for tools, templates, and guides that can support your work long after the course is over.

Preliminary Course Outline: Using your web browser and your Internet connection, you will log in to the Infopeople online learning site and complete the following learning modules:

  • Week 1: Your Library's Identity
    • Your organization's identity and why it's important
    • Basic identity elements and how to apply them
    • Tools for maintaining a consistent identity
    • How your materials support your library's identity and external communications
  • Week 2: Preparing to Create Your Materials
    • Steps in the development process
    • Defining your objective
    • Understanding and reaching your audience
    • Testing and improving your materials
  • Week 3: Writing Your Materials
    • Identifying your key point
    • Developing message frameworks
    • Keeping it simple
    • Special considerations for different kinds of materials
  • Week 4: Laying Out Your Materials
    • Supporting your organization's "look and feel"
    • Bringing together messages and design
    • Basic elements of layout
    • Using templates

Pre-workshop assignment: Before the course begins, you'll need to choose a piece of promotional or informational material that you can work on for your library during the timeframe of the course. You may want to tackle a promotional piece (such as a flyer announcing an author reading, storytimes, or another program) or an informational piece (such as a how-to sheet on downloading ebooks or a letter reaching out to new parents). Choose an external document that you might post on a bulletin board, distribute to current library users, or send to potential library users.  In addition, you'll need to complete a quick pre-course survey on the kinds of external materials you create and the tools you use to produce them. (A link to the survey will be sent to you in the email confirming your enrollment.)

Instructor:  Laurie Putnam. Laurie Putnam has been managing writers, editors, publications, and publishing departments for two decades. Since 2004, she has been teaching professional writing and publishing to future librarians in San Jose State University’s School of Library and Information Science. Laurie also runs a communications business based in Monterey, California, where she leads the development of publications and communications programs for libraries, nonprofit organizations, and high-tech companies.


Time required: To complete this course, you can expect to spend 2½ hours per week, for a total of 10 course hours. Each week's module contains readings and various optional assignments and discussions. You can choose the options most relevant to your work and interests. Although you can work on each module at your own pace, at any hour of the day or night, it is recommended that you complete each week's work within that week to stay in sync with other learners.


Who Should Take This Course: This course is intended for library staff who are responsible for producing materials to promote and support library programs in their local communities. Consider this course if you're a front-line staff person who needs to develop program flyers, informational handouts, and other materials on your own, primarily using existing software and resources. The course content will apply to any type of library. Proficiency in written English is necessary.


This introductory course is not intended for professional marketing communications staff who wish to advance their current skills. Neither is the course intended to provide training in specialized design or publishing software.


Online Learning Details and System Requirements may be found at:


After the official end date for the course, the instructor will be available for limited consultation and support for two more weeks, and the course material will stay up for an additional two weeks after that. These extra weeks give those who have fallen behind time to work independently to complete the course.


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