[Last week I said that I would talk about why I think the Ivy Tech library would rock Halloween but I’m going to save that for closer to Halloween as I binge on candy corn (yes, I like candy corn.)]
Hello! It’s Week 6 of classes, Week 7 of internship, and I just had a really tasty lunch. Today we’re going to talk about how I really enjoy making PDFs and some PDF-y projects I’ve done.
Some of the databases linked in the Libguides have a PDF showing students different features and some basic how-tos (searching, citing, emailing, etc). Some of those databases are statewide, meaning that Ivy Tech has a subscription to that database at a statewide level, rather than per campus. The PDFs for the statewide databases needed updating so that’s what I got to do for a couple weeks.
Now. Here’s the thing. I have very little artistic/design talent but I LOVE making these sorts of documents. Love it. It’s truly fun for me. Because I get to determine (to a point) what is important and I also get decide how to convey it. My supervisor gave me an old version to use as a model but I definitely put my own spin on things – fewer arrows, casual language, explaining the search I used for the example.
The guides are two pages each. The first page shows the landing page for the database and what tools/buttons are available. The second page has search results and the page of a result itself. With a couple exceptions, I have decided to not use arrows because all the criss-crossing can be distracting. You don’t know how many screenshots I have saved right now.
The cool (“cool”) thing is that because these guides I’m making are for the statewide databases, my work is getting reviewed by people across the Ivy Tech system and working it way up to……well probably not the top but somewhere with important people who make a high salary. My name isn’t on them and I don’t get paid, but it’s cool to think that something I made will be used by students for years to come and seen by people who make more money than I ever will.
One guide I made that is Bloomington-specific is for FirstSearch, a subset of WorldCat. My supervisor wanted the link to the FirstSearch on the PDF but there wasn’t a fun, smooth, or attractive way to include a “Click here!” textbox. So I got creative. The screenshot of FirstSearch includes the FirstSearch logo. So I copied the image and cropped it so it was just the logo. I then made the new logo image the exact same size as the one in the screenshot. I turned the new logo into a link and overlapped it with the existing logo on the screenshot. Threw in a little “Click here” arrow and that is probably one of my proudest Microsoft Publisher achievements to date!