Was it the best possible use of two minutes, start to finish? Maybe not, but if you’re a librarian — or, really, anyone whose organization must create promotional materials — this could make your working life a lot easier.
Full disclosure: it’s part of my job to fool around in the LibraryAware “playground,” which I do with gleeful abandon; it is not, however, my job to promote it…that said, I’m proud of what we’ve made. Maybe because once upon a time, many a time, I was the un(der)paid sucker who had to make the flyer advertising the thing — and with nothing in my artistic toolbox except some $#!++y clipart and the Unholy Trinity of “Festive” Fonts: Papyrus, Brush Script, and Comic Sans. (Just try to use something sensible and legible and your boss will invariably point to Algerian or Bradley Hand ITC and say, “How about that one instead? There, that’s MUCH butter!)
Best of all, it is idiot-proof. I’m not saying librarians are idiots, far from it. However, many in my profession are not especially concerned with design and aesthetics. To quote my grandmother, who used to say of the willfully colorblind, the badly dressed, and the people who purchase items from places like Pottery Barn: “all their taste is in their mouth.”
But yeah, you would have to work hard to f*ck this up.* There are templates. There are color swatches. There is a massive gallery of stock photos. All are surprisingly tasteful and non-intrusive and can be customized with your institution’s branding and logo.
With a few clicks of a button, you can create everything from posters to brochures to bookmarks to e-mail blasts to impassioned advocacy letters to your elected officials — who, in NC at least, will immediately round-file them under “bleeding heart liberal garbage,” before cutting all funding for education, purging the voter rolls, instituting state-mandated gay conversion therapy, and violating the Establishment clause.
But at least you’ll have some nice signs to hang up. Also, you can post things to the Facepages and suchlike. I’d use this — probably for mischief, if not outright evil, but that, too, is always an option. We just create the tools; you’re free to use them however you like. Make me proud.