Library Signage and Information Graphics: A Communication Tool for Library Users

Library Signage and Information Graphics: A Communication Tool for Library Users

Edeama O. Onwuchekwa (National Open University of Nigeria, Nigeria)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-9034-7.ch011

Abstract

Libraries are gradually becoming spaces for discovery, innovation, and community empowerment by catering to the various needs of the public. To harness the unlimited resources in the library, library digital signage is the perfect tool to help transform old buildings and spaces into a place of collaboration and innovation. Since it's a content-centric solution at its core, digital signs can go beyond looping a series of pictures. It's an intelligent tool that can tailor-fit content relative to the audience, location, time of the day, and even process. This chapter will address the different roles of signages and buttress the fact that digital signage can play a major role in this communication process in addition to demonstrating a “green” environment for library patrons. Graphic information can be displayed to the public in meeting rooms, at the front desk, in vestibules or cafeterias/cafes. The messaging can range from programs being held at the library to public service announcements to emergency messaging and so much more. There is no limit to the information that a library signage can convey to its users.
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Introduction

Recently, Informational graphics and signages are among the most basic, and at the same time most indispensable, forms of library instruction and communication. Like other media employed to educate the library user, they derive their importance and usefulness from the needs that users experience as they search for information. Signages and information graphics include and are not limited to signs that identify individual areas and rooms, as well as signs that identify the objects and applications found in these rooms.

There are a variety of function to what information the signages can communicate the library users. For example, an informational signage need not only tell users about things that they are seeking information on but can also tell them things they may have never known about. Library digital signage is also the perfect tool to answer frequently asked questions (FAQs), how-to inquiries and even display upcoming events and highlight new library services. For optimal results, library kiosks should be placed in areas with high foot traffic, preferably placed near front desks, entrances and lobbies. Amongst other roles, library digital signage can provide people with the necessary information that they need and can even promote new things that the library wants to highlight.

Library signage is also there to help users to use the library, which could be anything from assisting a user in navigating the library collection, to explaining how to use a self-check loans machine. The role of the librarian is not only to connect people to information but communicate this information appropriately and accurately to them, to buttress this point, Schmidt and Etches (2014) posits that signages can be seen as tools to achieve this, and hence their design falls well within the scope of library work.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Information Graphics: Information graphics or infographics are visual representations of information, data or knowledge. These graphics are used where complex information needs to be explained quickly and clearly, such as in signs, maps, journalism, technical writing, and education. They are also used extensively as tools by computer scientists, mathematicians, and statisticians to ease the process of developing and communicating conceptual information. Infographics are graphic visual representations of information, data or knowledge intended to present information quickly and clearly. An infographic (information graphic) is a representation of information in a graphic format designed to make the data easily understandable at a glance.

Library Signage: Library signage and guiding are Suppliers of library guiding, signage, display lighting, sign technology, graphic panels and branded library materials to enhance the visitor experience. Signage is an important part of communication and is essential for promoting safety and accessibility for library patrons.

Communication Tool: Refers to three forms of electronic communication in distance education courses—e-mail, discussion groups, and chat rooms. They are apps that act as a virtual, online meeting room for team members. They help your team have conversations, exchange vital project data, update others with progress, share files, and create work collaboratively.

Library Users: The term encompasses various terms such as patrons, clients, information users, information seekers, consumers, readers, etc. These terms can be used interchangeably because they all apply to those seeking the services of a library. The 21st century has virtually turned everything virtual.

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