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12 Things SWKLS: Thing 7

Thing 7


Welcome to the seventh thing in 12 Things SWKLS.  This month we will be learning about Canva.  Canva is a free web-based design tool that makes it easy to create professional looking flyers, social media graphics, collages, posters, infographics, presentations,  and more.  This lesson will give an overview of what Canva is and how you can use it in your library.  You’ll also have a chance to create your own graphic for your library.

The activities for this lesson are due November 30 , 2016 at 11:59 pm central time and are worth 2 credit hours.  Estimated work time:  1-2 hours

If you would rather complete an alternate topic, please go to the alternate topic page and pick one from the list.

What you’ll learn in this lesson:

  1. What Canva is.
  2. How you can use it in your library.
  3. How to find tutorials.
  4. How to create your own products to use in your library.

If you get stuck and need help, please don’t hesitate to ask.


Canva is a free web-based design tool that makes it easy to create professional looking flyers, social media graphics, collages, posters, infographics, presentations,  and more.  This lesson will give an overview of what Canva is and how you can use it in your library.  You’ll also have a chance to create your own graphic for your library.

Examples of objects created with Canva:


Exercises:  (Due November 30, 2016 at 11:59 pm CDT)

Tools you will need:

  • A computer or Internet enabled device.
  • An Internet connection
  • An email address
  • Your imagination

Activity 1:  (10 min)

  1.  Go to and create a Canva account if you don’t already have one.
    1. If you have a Google email address you can sign in directly with you gmail address.  Just click the Sign up with Google Red Button.
      • (Note:  If your library has an email address like you most likely have a Google Apps email address and the sign up with Google button should work for you. )
    2. You’re also welcome to create a new account with your email address or Facebook account.  I would recommend the email address login over the Facebook login.
  2. Login

Activity 2:  (14 – 30 min)

  1. Watch one of the videos below.
    1. They’re both a little over 13:30 min long.

  1. More Canva Tutorials are available if you’re interested in learning more.

Activity 3:  (30 min – 60 min)

  1. Create an image, flyer, or poster for yourself or for an upcoming library event, your library’s website, or your library’s Facebook or other social media page.
  2. Post the image, flyer, or poster online or in your library.
  3. Download and email the image to Janelle at jmercer @
    • A link to where you’ve posted the image online will work as well.
    • Everyone’s creations will be added to the Thing 7 Participant Creations link.
  4. Answer the following by posting a comment down below:
    1. What did you think of Canva?
    2. Is there anything you didn’t like?
      • Is there another similar service that you like better?
    3. How do you think you’ll use it in the future?
    4. Respond to at least one comment down below.


  • Create another image for your library.
  • Install the Canva iPad or iPhone app.
    • (At present Canva only has apps for iOS devices.  There is not an Android app at the moment).


Skip to comment form

  1. 1. From what I played around with on Canva..I really liked it!
    2. Maybe…I did notice that items were either marked free or I am assuming if not marked free you have to purchase that item but so far all the ones that I have wanted to use are free 🙂
    3. I can see lots of possibilities with Canva…ready to play around with it some more 🙂
    This was a fun and new lesson! I really liked it! Thanks! Janelle!!!!

  2. 1. I think its a cool idea. Could be helpful. Unfortunately I don’t know if it is really all that accessible.

    2.I wasn’t able to Double click the picture in order to move what part of the picture showed in the box. The interface is not as convenient as PowerPoint is. The text options are really inconvenient and do not allow for as much editing as PowerPoint would.

    3. Will probably use it to make other posts for website, or other posters around the Library.

    1. 1.What did you think of Canva? It does have some cool things that would make nice posters.

      2.Is there anything you didn’t like? Spell check was very vague and tutorials didn’t work like they demonstrated.

      3.How do you think you’ll use it in the future?It will take practice for me to feel comfortable in using the program. I can see using it for posters but I would have to get to a point that it wouldn’t take so much time to make one poster.

      I agree Caleb some of the interface wasn’t as easy to do as other programs.

      1. Ruby, I agree, the tutorials did not work like I thought they would. I was confused. On the part where they showed you how to change text color, my screen was totally different than the screen in the video.

      2. I have to agree with Ruby and of it are not very user friendly but it is a neat program for posters and such 🙂

    2. I agree with it not being as accessible as I would like it to be, and I also didn’t like to text options. Do you have an interface you do like that works better for you?

      1. Now that I think about it again; I feel Like Canva is really helpful for one picture,one sentence announcements. Something like, “Author Event Coming Soon 7/15/68”

        1. Caleb,

          I see it shining with this as well.

  3. 1.I think I could use Canva to make some neat things, but the tutorials were confusing and not helpful, and it lagged on my computer very bad.
    2.I didn’t like the tutorials or how slow it was.
    3.I think I will use it in the future to make flyers and graphics for the library’s Facebook page.

    1. You’re not the only one that had trouble with the tutorials. I think everyone has! I am not sure what they have changed with them, but they used to be fantastic and work really well. I will work on updating the instructions so they have better tutorials.

      1. I didn’t really look at the tutorials…just played around with it and learned by trial and error…LOL!!

  4. 1. It is a great tool, but I was also confused with the tutorials.
    2. It wasn’t as intuitive as I would have liked, but I probably can figure it out if I spend more time with it.
    3. I like the ability to make an image for our webpage or facebook.

    1. Stephanie,

      I find myself using it a lot for website or Facebook images. I don’t always think it’s as intuitive as I would like either. Later I will be sharing a tutorial on Adobe Spark, which is similar but a bit easier. It doesn’t have as many bells and whistles.

  5. The only place I have designed anything on a computer is in Word Document. I had just started this exercise when you added the other tutorials. They helped me know more of where I was and what I was doing. The first tutorials just kid of threw you out there.

    It can be a little intimidating for those who(like me) have never really designed on a computer, but I think most programs probably are.

    It could be fun to create things to inhance and promote our library whether on FB or in the library itself. It could even be handy for our newspaper articles.

    Like Millie, I would like to play around with it more and see where it takes me.

    1. It has taken some playing around on my part as well. Sometimes, I just can’t get something to look the way I want or canva to cooperate with me. However, the more I have worked with it, the easier it has become. I look forward to seeing some of your other creations!

      1. I, too, noticed that when I went back in and tried something else, the site seemed easier to use.

  6. 1. I like Canva but, like a lot of things on the computer, it takes time to get used to it & play around with it. When I have some time I like to look ahead to things I can use it for & play a little.
    2. Some of the things in the earlier tutorials looked interesting, but there were too many ideas at once for me so I didn’t retain how to do some things.
    3. I’ve used it for an event page on Facebook and for our cover & a post. I’ll probably continue to do that.

    1. Ginger,

      We have used it a lot for Facebook images as well as images on our website. I love the image you created for your Facebook event!

      1. I really like how simple it is to make Facebook images.

  7. 1. I liked Canava.
    2. I really can’t say, I haven’t used it enough to know what I don’t like.
    3. I will probably use Canava for flyers & posters for the library

  8. 1. I think the pictures are great! It will take more time to figure it out so it doesn’t take so long to arrange things.
    2. That so many images were not free, yep, I’m cheap!
    3.I can see us using it for facebook posts and posters in the future

    1. I agree! I wish more images were free!

      1. I wish more images were free as well! I also wish there was an easier way to sort the free from the ones that had a cost associated.

        1. I wondered if there was an easier search method to sort free vs cost. Although, I don’t think the fee is too unreasonable but I likely wouldn’t purchase for work, just personal.

  9. I really like Canva!

    I haven’t used it enough to find something I didn’t like.

    I will probably use Canva for future Facebook posts.

  10. 1. I am thrilled to learn about Canva. There is so much that I have to learn to really use it. I think I could get lost designing in it.

    2. In the social media image I designed, I found it a little frustrating trying to resize text on different lines and also the font type. Janelle explained how I could do that next time.

    I still think that Publisher may be more convenient for some fliers/publications, but I can see the benefits of Canva too!

    3. I’ll definitely use it for social media posts and for some specific fliers when I feel the right template is available.

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