Graphic Design for Librarians

Online Workshop for Librarians and Staff (No Prior Art Background Required)

Fun, Relaxed, Informative! Recommended by Librarians. Learn where to locate the tools and programs that make your job easier.

All Library Staff Welcome

See what graphic design projects librarians are creating. 

Class starts September 10th.   Enroll today in this popular class, or throughout the first week of class.  Open to all. Approved for 12 TLEUs (Indiana State Library)

Unit 1 opens the first week, access at your convenience and interact with other participants and the instructor on the forum, read the lecture, and watch the videos. Unit 1 will remain open throughout the 4 weeks, Unit 2 opens the second week, etc. There will be an additional 2 weeks to catch up if you have to miss a week. 

Librarians are often asked to communicate or speak a visual language. The Graphic Design for Librarians class gives you the rules and tools for making that challenge not only possible but fun.

The four week class gives you an opportunity to network and share ideas with others who are actively engaged in what you are doing. No prior art experience is needed or required to learn simple guidelines for making those graphic design tasks easier and more effective-no matter the project.

Ignite your creative spark while learning basic skills needed to produce practical projects with the hardware and software you probably already have on your computer or can easily access online.

What are librarians who have taken the workshops saying about the class?

 The most helpful information to me was regarding fonts and how to utilize them for ease in reading and eye-direction. I also tend to want to utilize all the space in a flyer, and learning to use white-space as part of a design, will help me to simplify.  I also benefited from a lot of sites that offered graphic design “terminology”.  I am self-taught, so having some of the more technical terms, and knowing what they mean, helps me to feel more confident in my skills and talking to others about my projects.

I learned that I need to be more aware of font, color, and placement. I liked the guidance and direction that was given to us for this project, but I especially loved how you let us use our own creativity for the project. So much fun!

 The most helpful information has been the links to free image sites. . .now I have a ridculous amount of images to look through.

The links to the templates and the link to the free graphic design software was particularly helpful.

The most beneficial aspect to me was seeing so many examples of what other libraries have done with signage, social media, etc.  I've bookmarked some sites and am returning to them as idea sources for infographics or quickly make something that looks professional.  My flyer designs have improved 200% since starting this class.

Overall, the visual examples and the links to resources have been the most helpful to me. The exercise of creating a flyer from scratch was eye-opening and enjoyable. . .

The video clips were clear and informative.

I have already started using what I learned in creating at least a 1/2 doz new flyers for our programs during the last few weeks! What is so satisfying is that people are noticing that the flyers are a lot more interesting to look at and I have gotten several compliments on them (yeah!)

Learn art fundamentals that will help you create effective design projects. Through illustrated lectures, hands-on assignments, and discussion groups you will explore basic principle and design elements, attention grabbers, and tips for creating the layout, font, and content techniques you want to project.

Week 1-The first week you will network with others and share your most successful projects. You will also learn how to “read” art designs by exploring the elements of composition and principles of design. Selecting materials, supplies, and software that you may want or need will be presented. The variety of projects that a librarian may want to create using graphic design techniques will be addressed.

Week 2-The second week will combine the techniques that you learned in the first class and then merge them with more tools for creating effective designs. Specific projects such as posters, flyers, signage, displays, and other basic graphic design tasks will be created and critiqued. The importance of Font will be included in this second class.

Week 3-We will look at the rules of Layout and White Space in Week 3. Brochures, newsletters, guidebooks, and other more challenging projects will be analyzed and reviewed. You will get tips for creating interesting displays.

Week 4-Content and themes come together in Week 4 as we explore electronic design. We will look at the good and the ugly as we learn tips for creating aesthetically pleasing websites, blogs, and other project designs.

Instructor Valerie Colston, M.A. is a university art instructor and author with many years of experience developing and presenting art programs at San Diego local libraries and Orange County, California.  She has taught Graphic Design for Librarians at University of Wisconsin Extended Studies and at Simmons (Boston.) Her book 200 Projects to Strengthen Your Art Skills published by Barrons Educational Series has received outstanding reviews appearing in School Library Journal, National Art Education Association newsletter, and more.  Her "It's Easy to be a Green Teen" appeared in  the youth librarian publication Voices of Youth Advocates and is the author of the best seller  Teens Go Green!  Tips, Techniques, Tools and Themes for YA Programming.  Libraries Unlimited Professional guides for Young Adult Librarians Series.  Her artwork has been exhibited in a number of libraries throughout the US and at the Orange County Contemporary Center for the Arts in Santa Ana.

This class has been approved for 12 TLEUs for Indiana Librarians. All librarians, library teachers and staff are welcome, nationally and internationally.

For more information Contact-Valerie Colston

Sign Up Today.  This is a 4 week workshop only $99.00 (USD)  UK, Canadian, Australian and other currency accepted on the Pay Pal secure website.

You may purchase the class through the secured pay pal site below or if your library is paying for the class a Library Invoice will be provided. Please contact me at or  for more information.

4 week workshop  $99.00 (USD)