Your public, academic, or school library has probably had to deal with increased COVID-19 signage. Have you branded it or just printed out what the CDC or local health authority has recommended? Is there any continuity to the signage? Are you using clip art of masks, syringes, and viruses to get your point across? Whatever signage you post in the library, make sure you think critically about the message you are conveying.
The most important aspect of COVID-19 signage at your library is to properly yet briefly convey the message to the reader. People usually don’t take time to read signs. When dealing with health issues, we need to be particularly helpful!
Here are some tips for COVID-19 signs at your library:
- Use polite language,
- don’t be verbose (get to the point in as few words as possible),
- always add your library’s logo/branding,
- don’t have any typos and use correct grammar,
- make sure that fonts and font sizes are ADA compliant,
- and use images that support the content.
Some great online resources to COVID-19 signs as well as additional resources for your library:
The most important tip is to keep your COVID-19 library signs as up-to-date as possible. Make sure your signage is not too time-sensitive so that you don’t have to replace it too often. Also, make sure that it’s part of someone’s job to regularly assess the overall library signage and make adjustments as needed.
Years ago, when I conducted library signage audits around South Carolina, I developed a useful tool called the Sign Removal Test. While I was conducting an audit, I had a conversation with a front desk staff member at a public library who asked how to deal with signs she thought were not being read or were not serving any real purpose. I responded with a spontaneous idea and recommended she remove the sign for two weeks and track whether or not anyone noticed. This resulted in the Sign Removal Test.
As you evaluate your library’s signs, if there is a particular sign you’re just not that sure about, remove it for two weeks and see if anyone notices or asks questions that the sign addressed. If you feel the sign needs to be reposted, then repost it; however, I will bet you that 9 out of 10 times, the sign won’t have to be posted again. Give it a try!
If your library system is looking for online training sessions about library signage, feel free to contact me and set up a day and time for my library signage session. Also, check out the other online training sessions I offer on my training page.
Part of the key to effective library communication skills is understanding how the receiver receives the information and how the deliverer delivers the information. How well do you know other library staff members’ personality types and how they prefer to receive information? Have you considered how you sound when delivering information or providing directions, reference information, or just having a casual conversation?
According to 16personalities.com, you can “learn what really drives, inspires, and worries different personality types, helping you build more meaningful relationships.” While there are many personality types, there are 16 main types that we discuss during my Communication Skills for Library Staff online training session. This workshop can be 60 minutes long or 90 minutes for more interactive exercises.
By learning some simple skills and techniques, networking with colleagues in person or online doesn’t have to be scary or intimidating. In this session, attendees will take a close look at various personality types and communication styles. The more you know about personality types and communication styles can make almost any interaction a pleasant one. Online resources will be provided and there will be opportunities for Q&A and discussion.
If you need this session customized to a particular communication issue at your library, I’ll be happy to discuss it with you! Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org to set up a zoom training session for your library staff today.