NCLA Changed my Career

By: April Everett

tool box

At the 2011 NCLA Conference, I attended a session called Zero Budget Marketing led by two presenters from Wake County Public Libraries.  That session completely changed the way I think about graphic design and marketing.

The presenters did more than share basic principles of design; they encouraged me to strive for professional looking marketing materials, even when all I had at my disposal were free resources. Their tricks were simple and effective. They empowered participants to toss tired and boring clipart in favor of using real photographs for background image. They showed us how to drag an imperfect image off the canvas and crop it so that the text of the flyer falls in just the right place with the background. I learned that Microsoft Publisher has a color-picker so you can match your font colors with highlights from your background image for a very professional look and feel, and that you can select all and then save as a JPG to use for social media or other publications.  You can even use Microsoft Publisher to create graphic buttons you can link on your webpage – who knew?  And don’t get me started on my love affair with Dafont.com, a free font resource they shared.

Not only did the session inspire me to do innovative marketing for our library, both internal and external, but it also inspired me to present at the 2013 NCLA Conference. I was recently promoted to Creative Services Manager and I can honestly say I still use tips learned at the conference session six years ago on an almost daily basis.  Bless you, Heidi Barry-Rodriguez and Dan Brooks – you changed my life!