No Creative Skills? Canva can help with that!

Career Blog
Student sitting at computer with color wheel

Published: April 11, 2024 by Aryn Prestia

Librarians often find themselves embracing a range of duties on the job – a customer service specialist at the circulation desk, a researcher at the reference desk, a sort-of referee in the children’s section, and an all-around marketer and library advocate at all other times.

Beyond word-of-mouth recommendations, there is no better way to catch a patron’s attention, or gain their respect, than through eye-catching, professional, and engaging library marketing materials. The ability to create visually appealing content has become increasingly important in today’s digital age.

More and more librarians have turned to Canva, a free online resource (with some paid professional options) that helps make graphic design accessible to all. Canva was launched in 2013 by Australian entrepreneur Melanie Perkins (there’s a great How I built this episode about how and why she started the company here). It is also an outstanding resource for librarians. With access to thousands of templates, fonts, and images, the graphic design site originally developed for Yearbook formatting can be used for all kinds of design needs across any industry. Yet it is especially useful to librarians – from theme displays to general signage, social media posts, and even newsletters, Canva makes it simple to bring fun designs to the library.  

Why Canva?

There are a lot of graphic design programs available, but Canva’s ease of use really sets it apart as a great tool for beginners. Best of all, its free account is very budget friendly to those who are just starting in their careers. Because they don’t have to worry about the cost of making mistakes or creating new designs, in fact, Library students and new professionals can practice their design work and gain inspiration from other creators, perhaps even creating the materials that their library never knew it needed.

What Can You Use it For?

Canva helps to streamline the design process by saving branding colors and re-using past designs with some minimal updates. Its primarily drag-and-drop interface can save the cost of hiring an outside designer for creating cohesive presentations or library signage.

For students, Canva can serve as your template for class presentations (you can even record voiceovers), social media posts for student groups, and as a fun graphics creator for any creative assignments you may have.

How to get started?

Create an Account – it’s free! 

Scroll through design templates just to see what’s available. It can be overwhelming at first but practice searching for something simple like holiday themes to spark your interest.

Practice! Don’t work in a library now? Start designing for your life – create fun study guides for class or a calendar to time block your homework. 


One More Thing…

Here are a few job opportunities that might be of interest!

  • Archivist – National Park Service – Pawtucket, RI
  • Librarian – Gavilan College – Gilroy, CA


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