Editor’s note: guest post and interview with Kimberly Chapman ’16, the student manager for the library’s Zazzle store.
For a long time, the library has been interested in creating a museum-type store where we could sell products made from images in our collections. In the past we have made note cards and bookmarks from art and books in the department of Archives and Special Collections, but it was challenging to consider opening a store physically in the library. Then we heard about Zazzle, a website that provides customers with the opportunity to create custom products with images of their own choice. You choose the image. You choose the product. We noticed that a number of academic libraries and archives have created Zazzle “stores” to do just want we envisioned. Setting up our own Zazzle store was free, and a portion of all proceeds go back to the library.
Last year, Librarian-in-Residence Cynthia Mari Orozco took on the project of creating the library’s Zazzle store. Just in time for Easter 2013, she launched it at www.zazzle.com/lmulibrary. The online store features a selection of images – vintage postcards, early campus images, and architectural photographs of the William H. Hannon Library – that may be reproduced on a wide array of products.
Many of the images are from the library’s Werner von Boltenstern Postcard Collection; we especially like the holiday
cards. Over the past month, we have been selecting and uploading new images and creating products – and we’re not finished yet!
Meet Kimberly, student manager of the William H. Hannon Library’s Zazzle online store:
What are you responsibilities as manager of the library’s Zazzle store?
I make recommendations on new products, upload new images, and create the products. I also add tags to the images so customers can find them using keywords. I also make decisions about which images to make available on which products. For example, horizontal images work best on mugs, mouse pads, and postage stamps, so I don’t add these products for vertical images.
What have you been adding to the store? How is it different now?
Before I started working on the store, the images were only available on various cards. I have added lots of completely new images and products to the library’s store. I started by adding photographs of the library and Halloween postcards. The new
images were put onto a variety of products such as magnets, bags, mugs, mouse pads, notebooks, and stamps.
How did you decide what new products to sell in the store?
I went through an extensive brainstorming process to decide which products our target audiences might want. The store is mainly for LMU students and faculty, alumni, and local residents. I wanted to make sure that there were products that could
be used as gifts and souvenirs that would remind people of LMU. I really wanted to make sure that there were products available that could be used on a daily basis such as a mug or canvas grocery bag.
What kinds of images do you plan to add to the current options?
I plan to add more holiday images and rare vintage LMU photos from the University Archives that no one has really seen before. I also want to add illustrations from rare books and artwork in the library’s collections and more photographs of the LMU campus.
Where do you get the images for the store?
Our holiday and special occasion images are all vintage postcards from the Archives and Special Collections postcard collection. There are around one million postcards in the collection, many of which are interesting and odd. The photographs were taken by university photographers.
Do you have a favorite image or product in the library’s Zazzle store?
My favorite product is the Halloween mug that depicts a flying pumpkin with a little girl inside of it. She has really rosy cheeks and looks like she is loving life. I want to be that little girl.
Tell us a little about yourself.
I grew up in Redondo Beach which is 30 minutes south of LMU. I am a sophomore Communications Studies major and I plan to minor in Spanish. After I graduate I want to travel, work abroad, design, plan weddings, and make dreams come true. I also love cats.