Walking Paper

A library design consultancy and blog by Aaron Schmidt

30 May 13

YOUmedia Name-dropped by Chance the Rapper

I recently downloaded the second mixtape – Acid Rap – from Chicago’s up and coming Chance the Rapper.

Listening to the track “Acid Rain,” a line made my ears perk up: “And I’m still Mr. YOUmedia.” Whaaa? Rap Genius confirms: And I’m still Mr. YOUmedia. Sure enough, Chicago Public’s YOUmedia was one of the places Chance the Rapper started performing.

He’s spoken at length about the role YOUmedia played in his music’s development:

“It was a really ill thing because it was smack in the center of downtown, so anybody from any school could come there because every train comes to the loop [downtown]. I met damn near all the producers on #10Day through this library. It was the spot.”

Consider this a complement to the “I graduated from the library” Bradbury quote we like to trot out. Clearly, a lot of creative output is the result of some sort of library use. But in most cases libraries have been neutral in that they don’t care if they’re for enjoyment, learning, inspiration, etc… or any combination. So what makes this example so great is that YOUmedia isn’t neutral in this way; it has the goal of helping kids create content. This example illustrates that creation focused libraries can have a significant impact.

7 May 13

Richland Library Website

I learned about the Richland Library website in a good presentation by Kelly Coulter, the library’s Virtual Services Librarian.

Richland Library

Solid site with a lot of things going for it. Kelly knows her stuff so I think this site will only get better.

Neither here nor there: note their .com TLD. Don’t see many libraries with those. Maybe it actually is relevant since .com is arguably the most common and usable TLD.

23 Apr 13

The Usable Library

Have you seen The Usable Library? I gave it a refresh last week.

The Usable Library: Straight talk from Influx Library User Experience

All sorts of straight talk about library usability, and a redesigned postcard that you can print and hang up!

ULPoster

28 Mar 13

Regulatory Sign at the Crocker Art Museum

This Spring I’ve been teaching a class on library UX for the San Jose State SLIS. In an assignment about analyzing library touchpoints one of my students, Stephanie Aurelio, included this nice sign from the Crocker Art Museum. I thought it was rather nice so she gave me permission to post it here. Thanks, Stephanie!

friendly sign

27 Mar 13

Smith Storage Stool

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It serves as a detachable file cabinet, a stool, a rolling cart and, in multiples, even stackable shelves.

Pretty clever little thing. Though at $700 a pop your library will need deep pockets to outfit your department with these. More info at Better Living Through Design.

The Smith Storage Stool is neat, but given the choice, I’d take a classic Kik-Step® Stool.

kik step

Can’t you just hear the hollow thud of kicking one of these? Then the squeak of the wheels followed by a clanking when you stand on it? So good.

25 Mar 13

Eight Color Views from Ramsey County Library

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power

Typography themed maze? Yes!

floor

I was assured that the kids’ section isn’t always dark and empty. Looked cool like this though. Note the kid sized self check machines.

kids

loo

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Am I going soft or have I just been running into good library signs recently? This library had a unified system of good looking signs. One of the best I’ve seen.

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Finally, some journey mapping that we did.

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22 Mar 13

Vintage Demco Letters

File this one under: from way back when, when people used to care.

Nate Hill was poking around the 4th Floor of the Chattanooga Public Library (it’s so hot right now!) and found an amazing pin mount letter system. He knew just the guy that would put this on the Web!

demco

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Replacing horrible paper signs on stack end caps with this stuff would probably be a big improvement.

Previous vintage library ephemera on Walking Paper

- Be An Army Librarian – 1963
- Vintage Library Journal Wordmark
- Library Hall of Fame from 1951

21 Mar 13

Pop Up Podcast

popup podcast

The goal is to provide a fun, creative environment for teens to engage with audio recording technology and explore their own self-expression and presentation skills.

Another winner from Escondido Public Library.

Our most exciting news is that our Teen Librarian, Joanna Axelrod, has teamed up with LibraryYOU’s Viktor Sjoberg to start a Pop Up Podcast program for teens in two locations on the east side of Escondido that used to be served by our now-closed East Valley Branch.

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