February 17, 2018

A Library Sign for Everything

One thing I’ve noticed about libraries is a bad habit of over communication. I understand there is a  public service need to articulate the rules, but much of the time that need gets in the way of the brand experience.

I was reminded of this by Tina Thomas, in Edmonton, Canada, when she sent me this blog post. about the signage around “No Balloons.”

What is amazing to both of us  are the comments on the blog post. Instead of listening to what the blogger is saying, the comments by library staff focus on the problems caused by balloons.

From my point of view, it is not good customer service to put up a signs prohibiting something that is only an occasional issue. Have a conversation instead. Certainly other public organizations face the same problem — without over-signing.

So let’s all fess up. Post your photos here of similar examples of thoughtless signing. Here’s mine. Why two signs?

Alison Circle About Alison Circle

Alison Circle is director of marketing communications for Columbus Metropolitan Library. Previously she was an Account Director at Jack Morton Worldwide, a global branding agency, and her primary client was Target Stores. Prior to that she was the National Marketing Director for Minnesota Public Radio and "A Prairie Home Companion with Garrison Keillor." She has advanced degrees in English and Fine Arts, and is a recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts grant.