Sunday, August 12, 2012

LOVE Creating The "Van Meter Library Voice Monthly" Using Smore!

Each quarter I create a newsletter about all of the great happenings, resources, connections, projects and more from the library.  It has been called the "Van Meter Library Voice Newsletter."  I used Pages on my MacBook and a few online photo editing tools to create the newsletter.  I would always make copies and make sure everyone of our students had one to take home to their families.  I would also put it on my blog, library website, and email it out to all of the teachers as an attachment.

This year I wanted to do THREE things differently with my newsletter. These were my goals...

  • I wanted to do a monthly newsletter called "Van Meter Library Voice Monthly." 
  • I wanted to create a newsletter that was electronic.  Something that I could embed onto my blog and into my website, and also share through email and the Van Meter Library Voice Facebook and Twitter.  
  • I wanted to be able to share all of the amazing projects, photos, and videos that we create in the library.  I wanted to find a platform that let me embed all of these great elements.  And of course I wanted a newsletter that would be one more way our library, students, and school community could come out of the four walls and connect with the world.  
My friend Joyce, had told me about Smore, a website which "creates beautiful flyers instantly", earlier this year.  Then one of our friends in the Somewhat Virtual Book Club created a flyer about the book we were reading that month.  I just loved how the flyers looked but didn't spend a lot of time on the site until this week.

I LOVE SMORE!  I cannot believe it took me this long to check it out.  This will definitely be one of my favorite new tools to show our teachers and students when school starts this week.
You can sign up on the Smore homepage.  They have a ton of "Featured Flyers" on the homepage, which were helpful in collecting ideas before I started creating my own.  
Once signed into your account, Smore gives you options for "Designing an awesome new flyer."  I picked the Event Invitation but found myself deleting a lot of the things that were on this template and building my own.
You can change the design, background, colors, and fonts.  Smore also lets you add content such as text, titles, embedded links, videos, audio, pictures, event calendar and invitation, gallery of pictures with text, and a bio.  And because it is online and you don't have to worry about having your information run off the can add as much as you want.
I am excited to share my first "Van Meter Library Voice Monthly" Smore with the parents, teachers, students, and our community today.  I emailed it to everyone and also posted it on Facebook and Twitter.  This is more information than I have ever been able to share in one place before because of the embedded links, pictures, and ability to include so much in one newsletter.

Today, I reached my three goals for my library newsletter.
  • I changed the name to the "Van Meter Library Voice Monthly" and August 2012 is the first edition.  I will create a newsletter each month.  
  • I found an amazing electronic newsletter platform with Smore and have already embedded it into my blog and have shared it in several places.  
  • I was able to embed tons of great things into my first Smore newsletter and cannot wait to share things all throughout the year. 
And the last thing I have done by creating the "Van Meter Library Voice Monthly" using Smore....

I have found one more way to take our library and students outside of the four walls and into the world.

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