Libraries offer people the access to books and other important research resources. For this reason, they play a fundamental role in society. Once people know the location of your library, it does not end there. They have to find certain sections to get their hands on the material they need. Therefore, it is important to pay attention to library signage, so that visitors can navigate easily. While librarians and other library staff are available to make the navigation easier, if digital signage is used, these staff can be freed to do more productive work.
By placing library signage in high traffic areas to ensure most patrons view the screens, librarians can digitally communicate information to visitors regarding where to find the books they need, how to print pages, where coffee and water can be found, washroom directions, and so on. Library rules such as remaining silent, maintaining social distancing, and so on can also be communicated through these digital screens.
According to experts in the industry, “digital signage is a great technology to allow the treasures of the library to become more evident to patrons”. In this article, we will talk about the different benefits of digital signage for school librarians.
Communicate important messages and notices
Digital signage should be the preferred means of communicating with patrons of a public library because not only is it more attractive, it also is less expensive and environmentally friendly in the long run compared to traditional methods such as static signs and paper flyers.
The types of information that can be conveyed via a screen has no limits. Librarians can educate the people about the building itself, the neighborhood, about upcoming events, sections that books can be found in, operating hours, holidays, and so much more.
Libraries are more like community centers of that particular geographical area. Public libraries often host events for authors such as a book launch, and can also serve as a study center for university students.
By incorporating the right technology, libraries can become the perfect venue for distributing information within a community. Librarians can promote book launches with a picture of the author and the cover of the book so that those passing by the screen in the library would not miss it. High traffic areas in a library would be the lobby and the circulation desk. When new books come in stock, they can be promoted by displaying the cover, a brief description, and information on where patrons can find the book. The strong, dynamic visuals of digital signage is way more eye catching than flyers and bulletin boards.
Libraries have a significantly large number of books and shelves that can be very intimidating for patrons (especially newcomers) to find what they want. Also, since libraries are more like community centers, most of them have funding issues and are unable to hire staff to assist many people at once. Digital signage can serve as a wayfinding device when staff members are busy or are not around. Patrons can be conveniently directed to the sections and books that they are in search of.
Emergency information such as the safety procedure in case of a fire alarm, and directing people towards the closest exits are also essential and critical information that a library needs to communicate to its patrons. At universities, the school may need to suddenly close due to severe weather or there could be an intruder on campus and the school needs to lock down, digital signage can get the message across to those studying or reading at the university library. With flexible content management systems, the signage administrators can interrupt normal digital signage content displays with such emergency notices.
Events such as book club meetings, literary events every month, or even a lecture on how to make use of technology inside the library can be promoted on digital signage systems. When it is time for the meeting to begin, an alert can be sounded so patrons are aware and can gather at the specified location. The signage can be synced with the library’s cloud calendar so that once an event has been entered, the reminder pops up automatically before the event takes place.
Display available titles
Interactive digital signs can be very useful in public libraries when patrons want to know whether certain reading material is currently available or not. When the entire rental system is digitized, the visitor simply has to enter the title of the book they need in the search bar and the digital signage software can tell them whether or not it is in the library at that particular time. Patrons don’t need to waste time going to the section and looking for the book, only to find out that the book is not available.
Digital signage in libraries can also educate visitors about research and reading related material such as how to site a source, how to index and state references, protocols, statistics, describing test subjects, showing results, and so on.
These are just a few examples of how librarians can use digital signage to enhance the setting in a library. Signage is an important part of communication and is required when it comes to promoting safety and ease of accessibility in a library. Librarians are not available to assist all patrons at all times; which is why signage can instruct, guide and welcome visitors to the library.