What’s in an Email Signature? Technology in the Library

Do our digital signatures matter? Recently, I received a creatively signed email from a librarian friend and was motivated to modernize mine. Since I still see pop culture images of cardigan-clad librarians sporting hair buns (read this article from Book Riot about it), I think it’s important to show off our tech savvy.

Few outside of education understand how enmeshed school librarians’ jobs are with technology. As a recent EdTech article states, “With the increase in educational technology, many librarians spend much of their time addressing one of the core challenges of modern education: integrating technology into pedagogy in ways that fundamentally elevate learning” (Burroughs). It makes sense that the educational tools that represent us should embody the latest advances. Below are simple guides to personalizing your email and school library home page.

Creating an Email Signature on Canva

  1. Go to Canva.com.
  2. Click on Templates and then type “email signatures” into the search bar.
  3. Choose a template or create your own.
  4. Customize your template, using the text box, drawing tool, and other apps on the left toolbar.
  5. To add a personal Bitmoji image, create one at Bitmoji.com, download it, and click on Uploads/Upload files/Images on the left toolbar.
  6. Go to Share and click on Download.
  7. Choose PNG and change the size to 650 x 325 px and click “Transparent background” (from school district computers, you may be restricted from accessing size/transparency; if this happens, do these steps from a home computer and email the final image to your work email).

Creating a Library Home Page on Google Slides

  1. Open up Google Slides and Click on Blank presentation.
  2. For a creative background, use one of the free templates from SlidesMania, SlidesCarnival, SlidesGo, or other similar sites.
  3. Personalize your page using bookshelves, book cover images, shapes, icons, bitmoji characters, or other symbols.
  4. Add links to the available resources.
  5. To embed the Google Slide onto Canvas, go to File/Share/Publish to web/Embed/Publish and then copy the HTML code.
  6. Open Canvas and go to the Home page/Edit. Click the HTML editor icon (</>). Paste the HTML code in and click Save. (If you have another LMS, you can search Google for specific instructions).
  7. To remove the black bars on the slide, go to the HTML code and add “&rm=minimal” after “3000” (I have no idea what it means but it works!).

There are endless ways to integrate technology into the school library. My new email signature is a small way to liven up my messages. The clickable links and icons on my library home page have proved invaluable to students during lessons, research, and projects. Not only do digital renovations catch students’ and staff members’ attention, but they also make it easier for me to stay organized and current. And when I need a break from automation, my shelves of print books are right there waiting for me!

Works Cited

Burroughs, Amy. “Tech-Savvy School Librarians Provide Value to Modern Learners.” EdTech Magazine, 8 July 2022, https://edtechmagazine.com/k12/article/2022/07/tech-savvy-school-librarians-provide-value-modern-learners. Accessed 11 January 2024.

Rizer, Addison. “A Brief History of Librarians and Cardigans.” Book Riot, 11 April 2023, https://bookriot.com/librarians-and-cardigans/. Accessed 11 January 2024.

 

Author: Karin Greenberg

Karin Greenberg is the librarian at Manhasset High School in Manhasset, New York. She is a former English teacher and writes book reviews for School Library Journal. In addition to reading, she enjoys animals, walking, hiking, and spending time with her family. Follow her book account on Instagram @bookswithkg.



Categories: Technology

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2 replies

  1. Keep in mind that screen readers may not be able to read your email signature as a graphic without alternate text (alt text). Consider how to enter the alternate text so that it is beneficial to email recipients who may be visually impaired or use a screen reader. What is the most important information that you can supply as alt text? Is the graphic merely decorative and pertinent information is included as plain text above or below the graphic?

  2. Thanks for bringing this to my attention–I’m working on making sure I have clear alternate text for visually impaired recipients.

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