Uniform Signage in Veracruz’s Libraries

Last month when I was in Mexico I had the opportunity to visit a number of small and sometimes rural public libraries. I was totally impressed with the enthusiasm of the library workers and the pride they took in providing library services.

Even more inspirational was the signage treatment provided, I think, for libraries across the state of Veracruz. These pictures came from a number of different libraries but you probably wouldn’t guess that if I hadn’t of mentioned it.







I saw zero 8.5×11″ pieces of paper taped to walls.

Are there any libraries in the US, perhaps in a consortium, that have worked together to provide uniform wayfinding devices for library users? This would make sense where people use a few different libraries that are in close proximity.

We could have a universal signage system for all libraries. It seems to be a logical extension of sharing the same classification systems. Then again, I’m not sure how this 1920s-esque Rationalist idea fits with my previous post advocating for fun, human language on library websites.

Libraries in Which I’d Live: Glaspaleis Edition

The Glaspaleis in Heerlen, The Netherlands, built in 1935. It is a former a fashion house, and now contains the town’s public library, a movie theatre and art gallery.

The library is spread over four floors and is the big attractor with 250,000 visitors per year, which also benefits the other occupants. Conversely, its collection has a focus on the topics of the other occupants, resulting in a dynamic situation of mutual cultural impulses.
 The film house, De Spiegel (‘the Mirror’), is a volunteer organisation, focusing on quality, as opposed to mainstream cinema, showing films by David Lynch, Peter Greenaway, Stanley Kubrick and Woody Allen, but also less known film directors. There are plans to use the glass walls as a projection screen, projecting films from the inside, which can be viewed from the squares surrounding the building.

Bad Sign

Hot on the heels of my post about libraries trusting patrons, and writing a sentence about drinks (gasp!) in our buildings, I walk into a local library and see this sign. Does this make anyone else as sad as it does me? Why does this library want to treat their patrons like children? Clearly there are much nicer ways of getting this point across. My favorite part of this sign is the miniscule “thank you” at the end of the message, put there as if forced, or even patronizing. The font they used is so small, you’ll likely have to click through to flickr to see a larger sized image. Look at the weight they’ve given to the “NO” in comparison to the “thank you”. This is what user hostility looks like.