Because libraries are designed for silence, the written word becomes a powerful way to communicate basic information, direct patrons to specific zones and inform them about upcoming events. Moreover, whether a patron is driving by or walking by, signage can capture and inspire them to come inside to learn more.
The two best temporary signs for libraries are banners and movable signs.
Banners can hang for short periods, both inside and outside as well as be stored for later use. They are great hanging above the information desk, at the top of staircases, and in foyers. Banners capture the attention with significant presence and charm. Libraries with summer meal programs and events for children find banner signs very valuable.
Sidewalk signs can be moved every day all year long. They are best used in major walking areas of the library such as the entrance, check-in/check-out zones, and near bathrooms. The versatility of a sidewalk sign is that they can accommodate vinyl letters for employee-created messages or accept newly made marketing inserts. Marketing inserts can even have the advantage of braille reliefs along the top so visually-impaired patrons can read them. These signs are extremely durable all year long and can even be used outside.
Signs that are more permanent are usually affixed to the walls, book stacks, and windows or highlight specialty areas.
Wall signs are perfect for pointing out points of interest in the library, such as children zones, computer labs, and reading areas. They can also point out danger zones, best practices for health-related issues such as bathroom use and/or washing hands and book drop zones. Wall maps are probably the most used of all the wall signs. Whether in the elevator or at the entrance from a stairwell, maps tell a patron where they are and guide them to what is available on that particular floor.
Stack Signs can either follow the Dewy Decimal system or the Library of Congress new system. Whether they are affixed to the aisle or set in out-cropping wing style, they need to stand out and inform the patron of what is found in that stack. Signage in children’s areas can be quite colorful while adult areas are typically done in black, beige, or red.
Window signs can be frosted, tinted, and more. These signs are typically designed to be part of the library ultimate decor and enhance the beauty of the area as well as inform. They are best used in conference rooms, auditoriums, study rooms, and glass-walled areas dividing the library into smaller sections.