Today I attended a shop run by Kevin Hennah on the topic of library signage, branding and marketing. If I’m being completely honest, I don’t think I learnt anything new but it did confirm my thoughts about the topic. Actually, it made me feel like a bit of a lone wolf because everyone in the room seemed to be wowed by the presentation (don’t get me wrong, Kevin’s presentation was quite well constructed and delivered) but I didn’t think it was radical thinking. It was just plain common sense!
Thinking back to my days as a library student, I remember feeling then that all LIS concepts, frameworks and systems were all just common sense. I couldn’t understand why some of my fellow students just didn’t “get it”. I still have doubts about some librarians who make life hard for themselves and others by overcomplicating otherwise simple tasks.
How hard is it to put the customer first? Make life convenient for them? Make them the centre of the service?
How hard is it to look at a dog-eared, yellowed, ripped piece of paper with numerous grotesque fonts, kitsch clipart, blu-tacked to a wall and realise “Hmm, this doesn’t reflect well on the professionalism of my library”? Smarten up your act, people! It’s little wonder our patrons don’t respect our professionalism when we leave our workplaces looking like unprofessional spaces. It’s not a kindergarten. Even the children’s spaces in public libraries don’t deserve shoddy, uninspiring signs. Let’s show a little respect to our patrons, not to mention a bit of self-respect.
We are a group of highly qualified, interesting, vital, erudite, spectacular people with mad skills! Let’s stand up and show it. Let your image be one where your patrons can look at you and your library and say “That librarian inspires me – I love this library!”