Is your Library Using Signage Effectively?

Today’s library is a community hub. From 3D printers to children’s storytimes to co-working spaces, modern libraries are aiming to improve the user experience and promote library use like never before.

To effectively communicate with library users and welcome them into the space, staff should consider the following signage best practices.

What’s Wrong?

First, let’s talk about what to avoid. Blurry floor plans, incomprehensible signage, and too much library jargon can really trip up library users, especially first time visitors. Don’t piecemeal together several differing solutions- this can lead to unattractive clashes and inconsistent signage that is confusing.

Audit Frequently

Handwritten signage, outdated language, and text heavy signage are some of the most ineffective pieces of signage. Library staff are doing their best, but you have to continually be watchful for signage that is not ADA compliant, confusing, or even mean.


To improve the library user experience, make sure signage is easy to understand without insider knowledge. Directives should not be framed in the negative, but rather as a way to invite library users to behave with courtesy and care. Don’t use all caps or images that can provoke negative reactions.


Signage that just says no is all too common in many public areas. Instead of throwing up clip art stop signs all over your library, engage with users. Take the time to discuss how to present rules in a way that is not brusque or overly negative. When library users are presented with engaging, positive rules, the user experience is improved and staff interventions decrease.

Make it Match

Handwritten signage, outdated flyers, and cluttered desks are sure ways to make sure that your message isn’t being seen. Signage should be mounted on walls, bulletin boards, or other appropriate locations. Avoid doors, desks, and windows if possible. Your signage should also be consistent. Use an easy to read font like Helvetica, dark text on a white background, and simple images to emphasize your point.

For more library signage tips, Please contact us today.

About Adler Display: Headquartered in Baltimore, Maryland, Adler Display brings more than 80 years of experience to its clients in need of recognition displays, lobby and corporate interiors, custom exhibits, historical timelines, trade show displays, and signage and graphics. For more information about Adler Display, please visit the website at or call 855-552-3537.