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Creating a User Friendly Library With Signage:

Final Steps

Future progress involves determining signage specifications and the procurement method. Completion of the evaluation stage should have revealed signage strengths and weaknesses. Decisions about signage specifications should include:

  • Purpose
  • Location
  • Message
  • Color
  • Size
  • Typeface
  • Installation technique

The goal here is develop a signage system, or a visually coordinated sequence of messages to present information in a consistent manner. Decisions should be guided by the goals and objectives detailed in the planning document, as well as by any relevant legislation, such as the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Sources for procuring signs were identified in the evaluation process. Contacting several sources and requesting an estimated cost is the next step.

Once a bid has been accepted, temporary signage should be constructed to test the effectiveness of the proposed permanent signs. Testing can prevent a costly mistake.

Upon completing the testing, fabrication and installation of the signs will be the crowning achievement to the months of long work. The key to successful fabrication and installation is supervision, deciding ahead of time who has final say in accepting or rejecting the final products.

The signage project will be concluded with documentation. As Pollet & Hakell note in Sign Systems for Libraries, "documentation is the single most important element to ensure the success of the signage system". [6] Documentation usually takes the form of a sign manual which includes working drawings and specifications and describes each type of sign according to use, placement and design. The manual should also include reordering information.

Signage, as a contributor to a user friendly environment, is beneficial to both users and staff. Good signs can help users move throughout the library more efficiently and accurately, as demonstrated by O'Neill, and may reduce questions at service points.

Originally written as a speech to the Indiana Library Federation District One and presented October 12, 1993. Revised and updated October 1997. Special thanks to Nicholas Rosselli for his editorial assistance.

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