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.
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?