I am a librarian who works with words, but has serious creativity limitations. I am extremely unskilled at presenting content in a visually appealing way; bulletin boards? Forget it! Signage and displays that take your breath away? Not me. My correspondence and instructional materials are very text heavy and visually overwhelming, and I’ve struggled to improve until I found Buncee. Now, I am excited to create newsletters, and they are, all of a sudden, much better received and more effective.
I started using Buncee with a personal account, rather than using it with my students. I learned how it worked, became comfortable, and sent out “New books!” announcements that were so pretty and enticing that my students actually clicked through all the pages.
They also started complimenting me and asking how I did it!
The end result is that they responded via email, and ended up borrowing some of these books, and coming into the library just for that reason, which helped me to build relationships with students who may otherwise have decided that the library wasn’t for them. I also made gorgeous flyers to advertise our programs and events, and I saw a definite improvement in responses to them.
I have branched out into newsletters that have brief video clips of me speaking in addition to the text, so that my enthusiasm and personality shine through. This is great for a librarian that doesn’t see all the students all the time. I’m proud of my newsletters now; they are much more effective at reaching my audience, and I never had to get better at design principles or change the way I think to improve.
Buncee just lets me be creative, even though I’m not. I do very little to produce something amazing, and it’s just what I needed.
This year, I upgraded to a classroom account, and my students have enjoyed editing templates that I send them to review books (I love the #20wordsorless book review), and it’s amazing how unique each student’s response is, even though they are just editing a template. The best experience that I’ve had with Buncee so far is with the holiday BINGO templates. I had some virtual meetings where we played this as an ice breaker. Students were able to take turns reading a square with experiences written on them, such as “has a favorite holiday book,” or “has made a gingerbread house this year,” and students responded enthusiastically in chat or out loud, allowing the person who chose the square to place a “sticker” on the square to work toward BINGO.
It was such a great conversation starter, it was customizable with my own discussion prompts, and it looked professional!
Buncee has helped me reach my students with visually appealing materials that allow me to focus on the content, while the product practically takes care of the creativity portion for me. I love it!
Meet the Author
Julie Horwat is a Library Media Specialist in upstate NY. She loves reading, learning, and sharing. You can find her on Twitter at @HPCSlibrary