Five Signs Your Library Needs to Look More Welcoming

A movement currently exists to turn libraries from quiet book 'warehouses' into bustling community centres full of conversation, telecommuting workers, children's activities and more. If you run a library and want to create this vibe, ditch the signs full of 'no's' and limiting rules. Instead, use signs to make your library more welcoming and fun for the entire community.

Here are five types of signs to consider if you want to create a welcoming atmosphere in your library:

1. Signs Full of Welcoming Rules

Every shared space needs a few rules, and even if you want to create a positive buzz, you still may need to educate patrons about the rules.

Use signs to do that in a welcoming way. For example, instead of writing, 'no phones', write 'use mobiles quietly'. Similarly, you could substitute a rule such as 'no food or drinks' with 'please consume snacks carefully'.

2. Multi-Lingual Welcome Signs

Beyond having welcoming rules, your library needs a welcome sign. Consider working with a sign writing company to design one that has a range of languages on it. That promotes diversity and helps everyone to feel welcome regardless of where they are from, and basically, it looks cool.

3. Fun Room Designation Signs

If you have different rooms and spaces allocated to different activities, use fun signs to explain what each space is for.

You could keep it simple with signs that say things like 'children's area', 'quiet zone' or 'group study room'. Alternatively, you could make it more fun by using a sign to label your group study room as 'the idea room', or you could dress up a sign to a children's area with fun figures and designs.

4. List of Services Sign

If you want to recast your library as a community space, advertise what you offer with a sign posted outside the building, on a window or in another space where passersby can see it.

Have the sign declare 'something for everyone'. Then, include drawings, icons or lists of services such as free wi-fi, work tables for telecommuters, tech info and resources, or even video games and special children's events.  

5. Inspirational Signs

Finally, consider hanging signs throughout your library that do more than just relay information. Consider hanging signs that inspire people. Your inspirational signs could have simple words like 'create' or 'explore' on them. Alternatively, they could have book characters, important literary quotes or even snippets of poetry on them.