Signs Signs Everywhere!

Don’t miss:

http://doug-johnson.squarespace.com/blue-skunk-blog/2009/11/7/signs-signs-everywhere-theres-signs.html

I walk into too many libraries with signs like this:

What might happen if we replaced our welcome signs with ones like these?

Where would kids learn best?

OK, let me have it.

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8 thoughts on “Signs Signs Everywhere!”

  1. I just did. (Well, not quite: our current welcome sign says: Through these portals pass GCC’s brightest.). I haven’t replaced it, but I have supplemented it with a modified version of your suggestion. (Deleted the “social area” part as our library is tiny so the whole space has evolved into a social area.) If anything extraordinary happens, I’ll let you know.

  2. I love your sign! Libraries always seem to have too many signs. I work in a hospital library in a children’s hospital. People always have commented that nobody should eat in here. I say, if you are responsible, why not? Now the other day someone left there whole lunch tray…I wish I would have seen who it was. Less signs and more librarian/patron interaction.

  3. This would never work in a large urban library with a large patronage of mentally ill, homeless and barely literate persons. Patrons need clear instructions and not interpretive suggestions.

  4. I think you might be right Molly and that’s why we must have well-trained Librarians to be of service to the patronage who are most disenfranchised -whatever their condition. A sign is never going to work for them. But, a Librarian who works with them, interpreting, suggesting and if need be instructing is most valuable. A sign is a last resort; if you’re relying on signs more than a culture of service and caring, I would agree that a sign is not going to work. Signs, though, can be better designed and I like the attempt here.

  5. The first sign is clearly a sign at an actual school, probably a middle or high school, while the second sign is a sign to get across an idea for a middle or high school setting that barely exists except as examples of the exceptional school.

    So this also works as an exercise in seeing how one’s signage reveals one’s underlying values and processes as well as one’s response to objective conditions.

    That said, I’m still not sure how do you improve upon Please Close Door when folks will read the sign out loud and then leave the door open anyway?

  6. The problem with phones is not the talking, but the constant ringing. I still do not know why a cell phone on one’s person has a ring that can be heard from the outside but most do and the problem with food of course is the spills. No one cleans up after themselves and we have a janitor who only cleans the bathrooms. Our library is just plain dirty.

    I work in a public library, small no side rooms. I would love a room where people can sit, have coffee, talk on the phone if they wish, read a magazine (Oh what magazine? stolen already) It is a different world than when I became a librarian,
    I am there to help, but hate the policing part.

  7. This made me have a wave of nostalgia for the first version our library put out in the 1980′s. Printed in friendly pink, it started with “Welcome to the Library” and followed up with a BOLDED list of “no’s.” I immediately dubbed it the “Welcome to the Library and F*#%k Off” sign.

    Fortunately we don’t use it anymore.

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