In a figurative sense, getting lost in the library is good. Literally speaking, it could mean something bad. The library might not be well planned out. Or it might lack clear library signs to help visitors find their way.
In order for all of the wonderful resources in a library to be easily accessed, library signs play an important role. SpeedPro can handle all of your library signage needs, from clear library shelf signs to motivating wall art.
What Makes Library Signs Unique?
Modern library signs are:
Easy to understand
Whether it’s a wayfinding sign or a sign asking patrons to be respectful of others, library signs should have simple and concise language that’s easy for anyone to understand. Remember, both adults and children will be using the signs, as well as people who speak other languages.
From color themes to font sets, the way institutional signs are designed should be uniform and remain on brand. Beyond the visuals, the language used should also be consistent with the library’s values and philosophy.
Gone are the days when libraries were strictly quiet spaces. Today, you’ll find many libraries with silence signs limited to dedicated study rooms. This encourages other users to have a more meaningful and collaborative library experience.
Moreover, we’re also seeing a big shift towards positive scripting. Instead of explicitly saying smoking is prohibited, others opt for a friendlier tone (e.g., Breathe Well. Live Well. Thank you for not smoking). Apart from positively written texts found on wall decor and bulletin boards, you’ll also notice more signs that showcase innovation in libraries, including the availability of 3D printers or interactive apps.
As public spaces, libraries must be accessible to people with disabilities under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Signs should use sans serif or simple serif fonts — and be clearly readable even for those with poor eyesight or those in wheelchairs.
They must also have good contrast and a non-glare or matte finish for easier readability. Pictograms are incorporated for better understandability, and room and wayfinding signs should use grade 2 Braille to accommodate blind library users.
Types Of Library Signage In Public Libraries
Proper signage makes navigating public libraries easier. This is especially important in large libraries — imagine navigating the Library of Congress or the New York Public Library without signs. Signs in these spaces generally fall into these categories:
Directional signs help library users find the exact area or section they’re looking for. It could be a checkout counter or a particular bookshelf containing the self-development or Asian literature book genre. It could be a room where they can listen to audiobooks. Direction-themed signs also pinpoint the locations of restrooms, study rooms, stairs, ramps, elevators, and other facilities.
Going to one area in the library is one thing. Exploring the area itself is another story. This is where informational signs come in. These can range from the library’s operating hours and more specific library shelf signs to information about how to use a library card.
Regulatory signs communicate the library’s policies and rules. These displays, which explain do’s and don’ts, should be noticeable and easy to understand for anyone.
Will the library hold an upcoming event or workshop? Are there new books added to a specific section? New amenities visitors can check out? Use promotional signage to get the word out to visitors of the library.
Classroom Signs For School Libraries
Unlike a public library, a school library is designed to cater to students’ reading and learning needs. This library typically contains more library signs and library decor appropriate for the demographics of the student community (pre-school, elementary school, high school, or college).
For example, libraries for young learners have more easy-to-understand signs to help them find their way around. Colorful library and classroom decorations featuring learning and reading quotes are also commonly found on walls and windows.
If you visit a secondary- and tertiary-school library with students, they offer more amenities to encourage library use. For example, such libraries could have a dedicated book nook or a library media center where students can also print printable resources. There can be a shop for bookmarks or a book lover gift, a bulletin board for reading posters and FAQ posters, or a box for suggestions and wish lists.
How To Use Library Signs To Improve Visitor Experience
(libraries should be inviting spaces where people want to spend time learning, reading, relaxing. frosted glass/graphics create privacy around computer cubbies and reading nooks, wall wraps and window graphics as inspirational art, floor decals for children to follow to their section, etc etc)
Library and classroom signs are there to guide users as they navigate the library, but you can be creative about where to install them: A library sign can be hung from the ceiling or printed as floor graphics and wall decals to lead and inspire.
Besides giving directions and other pertinent information, you can also use signage to create private spaces. Frosted and printed glass can separate the study room or reading nook from the main lobby.
Additionally, you can put wall art and window graphics to remind users what a library is — a place for learning, reading and relaxation.
To improve the visitor experience, be mindful of the kinds of people accessing the library. If it’s for a deaf community, make sure there are sign language posters. If you’re making an indoor/outdoor library for an impoverished community, consider adding a little free library to encourage reading and promote literacy.
Why Work With A Professional For Library Signs
You can maximize the power of library signage with the help of a professional sign company.
SpeedPro has the tools and experience to help you design, construct and install these signs — all while taking into account your brand and the demographics of your users.
Create an easy-to-navigate space for learning and reading with SpeedPro. Find your local studio for a free consultation.