Tag: signage

Library Learning and Collaboration

Library Learning and Collaboration

Register today for the FREE online SE Collaborative Conference – March 15-17, 2022

I am happy to announce I will be presenting a session titled, Library Signage: The good, the bad, and the ugly, at the third annual SECC online regional conference. My session helps library staff members think critically about their current and future library signage. In this session, I show many examples of library signage and attendees discuss what makes a good sign great and what to consider changing about library signage.

The 2022 Southeast Collaborative Online Conference is a collective effort by the Georgia Public Library Service, State Library of North Carolina, South Carolina State Library, Tennessee State Library & Archives, and the Library of Virginia to offer innovative and useful online learning experiences for library staff at all levels through a convenient online conference.

This year’s conference will utilize the Whova event app to provide more convenient access to sessions and resources for attendees. Webinar recordings and presentation slides for the 2020 and 2021 conferences are available on the About page.

Special thanks to IMLS! This conference is made possible in part by a Library Services and Technology Act grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services administered by the State Library of North Carolina and South Carolina State Library. #SEcollaborativeconference

Are you reviewing your library’s signage on a regular basis?

Are you reviewing your library’s signage on a regular basis?

On January 27, 2022, I conducted a free webinar for WebJunction titled, Library Signage: Effective Crisis Communications. The most important takeaway is that I wanted attendees to THINK CRITICALLY about each and every sign in their library. Part of this process is to conduct a signage audit.

A great resource on how to do this can be found in Mark Aaron Polger’s recent book, Library Signage and Wayfinding Design.

Learn more about library signage by visiting the WebJunction page for my webinar and please make sure to review your library’s signage on a regular basis.

Want to make sure your library’s signage hasn’t hit a dead end?

Want to make sure your library’s signage hasn’t hit a dead end?

Join me for Library Signage: Effective Crisis Communications at 3:00 pm on January 27, 2022 for a WebJunction webinar and learn about how to get your library’s signage back in shape for the new year!

Good signage in the library helps to create clarity and build awareness, while bad signage can lead to frustration and confusion. Has your library had to implement COVID-related signage? Has there been a review of other temporary and permanent signage? This session will look at recommended types of library signs and address aspects of library signage within crisis communications. We will also address how to conduct a signage audit, the importance of library branding and using templates, and internal communications as they relate to signage. Online resources will be shared and there will be opportunities for Q&A and discussion.

I’m looking forward to talking about library signage with you soon!

Register today at WebJunction.org.

How has your library dealt with COVID-19 related signage?

How has your library dealt with COVID-19 related signage?

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.

The Sign Removal Test

The Sign Removal Test

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.

Restroom Signage and the Captive Audience

Restroom Signage and the Captive Audience

I’ve always wondered why there isn’t more signage in library restrooms. Libraries can take advantage of captive audiences by regularly updating signage on the back of stall doors and above urinals. Many people don’t really even like to think or talk about this, but it’s a great way to promote your library’s upcoming events, book clubs, and other library-related programs.

Remember these tips when creating restroom signage:

  • Use eye-catching graphics
  • Don’t use too much verbiage
  • For calendars of events, remember to update weekly or monthly
  • Update restroom signage prior to opening or after closing
  • Update the staff restrooms as well as the public restrooms
  • Use acrylic sign holders with suction cups so they can periodically be removed and cleaned
  • Always use your library’s logo and branding
  • Try to stick with your library’s brand color scheme

Share your library’s restroom signage thoughts and ideas with a comment. What works well and what would you do differently given the opportunity?

What is a Public Library Signage Audit – and why is it so important?

What is a Public Library Signage Audit – and why is it so important?

Library signage sets the tone not only of the individual library branch, but also of the whole county library system. All library signage should be positive, brief, and consistent. The following are both positive and negative library signage general rules of thumb:

Positive

  • Polite language
  • Not verbose – get to the point
  • Consistently use library logo/branding
  • No typos
  • Correct grammar
  • Font and font size
  • Image that supports content

Negative

  • Handwritten
  • Too many words
  • Clip art (try to use photography if possible)
  • Comic sans font (use font that is similar to the library’s standard font selection/branding)
  • Passive aggressive
  • Too many colors
  • Too much going on

A library signage audit is not only an audit of the library’s signs, but it may also relate to the library’s internal and external image including printed materials, customer service, grounds, and community perceptions.

During the signage audit, photographs will be taken of most of the library branch’s signs. Later, a visual report will be created with a list of what your branch is doing well and recommendations for what to change. The report may be used to look more closely at each library branch’s signage and make decisions about the type of signage that may be best suited to that community’s needs.

Does your library need a signage audit or signage training? If so, contact me and I’ll be glad to discuss it with you: curtisrogersconsulting@gmail.com.