Thursday, January 12, 2012

Speak Their Language

*This post was written by Carla Leake Crews, a new librarian at Shades Valley/JCIB. Welcome, Carla!

Have you ever posted a sign with important information for students, only to have it go completely unnoticed by them? Get their attention by sending them a text! Well, a fake text, that is. 

At, you can create text messages for the information you want students to read. This free site doesn’t actually send a text message; it generates an iPhone-like image that you can then print and post in your library or embed on your website. 

Our library used the site to create 8.5x11 signs for our computer area. We posted one that encourages students to ask for help when needed and another that addresses the cost of printing. Other ideas for library use include:
  •  posting OPAC search tips
  •  advertising a book fair
  • providing conversational-style book recommendations
 The fake texts we created include correct spelling and grammar, as I just couldn’t bring myself to “rit lyke thiz ok? LOL. L8r! J” for an academic setting. If you’re uber-hip, perhaps you might create something in a text language. Your students will love it! The site only generates about 12-14 short lines of text, so information has to be concise. Students could use this site to create poetry, have fun with vocabulary words, or have a "conversation" with their favorite literary character.

More ideas for educators can be found at Between polling a few students and watching others’ reactions, these posters appear to have passed the "cool" test. And, best of all, students actually take the time to read the information.