Many historians feel that the emergence of libraries, almost five thousand years ago and storing clay tablets, marked the change from pre-history to history as we now understand it. In recent years, naysayers have almost gleefully predicted the extinction of libraries as we embrace the digital age. Instead, of course, libraries evolve while remaining at the heart of so many local communities. It has been said that today, information is exchange globally but still consumed locally. Surely a perfect description for making the most of a library!
Key possibilities for maximizing the effectiveness of digital signage
This evolution, some might say revolution, needs to keep libraries relevant to a generation increasingly relying on digital communications. So, how can a library present a fresh and involved face while continuing to engage with its community? Our truDigital signage team knows of many key ways that easily accessible screens, often specifically targeted to the needs of specific age groups, are both welcomed and actively sought out by increasing numbers of library users…
• Offering a helpful welcome
The traditional welcome and information desk will surely remain a key focal point for visitors. Effective digital signage can help make arrivals feel part of their own, and the library, community. They can offer a wealth of information that can reduce queues and cut waiting times. Wayfinding screens, either for the library as a whole or on walls or shelves in specific sections, can quickly guide people to exactly where they wish to be. This frees up staff (and often volunteers) from such activities as simply offering directions, allowing them to be more pro-active across the services provided. Paper maps, if used within a library, could soon be a thing of the past - saving both cost and reducing waste!
• Delivering involving information
Digital signage screen content can direct groups to specific meeting areas, and introduce and provide directions to book signings, author readings, and other events. Cancellations and changes to schedules can be instantly posted, helpful information such as closing times, local traffic or weather problems, can also alert library users to information they need to know. If appropriate, sales can be encouraged from the library book store, and specific authors highlighted.
• Adding to the library experience
Ssshhh! While libraries are famously quiet places, digital screens can still show social media or video content (in silent mode or perhaps with subtitles). Slideshows might display ‘if you like this then try out...’ covering a single author’s works or options across a key genre. Local authors and other links can be promoted. Funding might even be gained by allowing carefully-selected and relevant local businesses to promote their products and services to the library’s users.
What digital signage offers library staff and users
In three words: timeliness, agility, and flexibility. Using a cloud-based content system across multiple screens, information can be instantly updated, promotions are always timely, specific screens are relevant to the exact part of the building where they are placed. Compare this to the time-consuming hassle of keeping paper-based noticeboards both tidy and relevant, or the placing and removal of promotional posters. The result is a cost-effective, to-the-minute, quickly-learned and then easily operated system. It provides a truly flexible boon to employees and volunteers as well as those who use the library either occasionally or regularly.
A conversation with our truDigital signage team
We’ll speak in hushed tones if you prefer. But, seriously, if you’d like to discuss what digital signage could bring to your library, then the initial conversation is always entirely obligation-free. Please call us here at truDigital in Sandy, Utah on 1-801-852-9898…
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