Libraries are becoming idea stores—places where people can create, collaborate and conduct experiments. In emergency situations, they’re even a haven for early response teams, like the New York public library after Hurricane Sandy.
University libraries are gradually becoming spaces for community empowerment by catering to the various needs of the public to stimulate collaboration, knowledge creation, student access and engagement. Library digital signage is the perfect tool to help transform old buildings and spaces into a place of collaboration and innovation. Since it’s a content-centric solution at its core, digital school signs can go beyond looping a series of pictures. It’s an intelligent tool that can tailor-fit content relative to the audience, location, time of the day and even process. Let us explore how.
Digital Information Desk
We all know how difficult it is to find a book from a long stack of shelves spanning multiple floors. Library digital signage can function as a self-service digital information desk where people can quickly search for the book or even service that they need. The secret lies in the technology. Four Winds Interactive's (FWI) Visual Communications Cloud allows libraries to create a directory of books that can be easily searched and organized by topic, author or keyword.
Library digital signage is also the perfect tool to answer frequently asked questions (FAQs), how-to inquiries and even display upcoming events and highlight new library services. For optimal results, library kiosks should be placed in areas with high foot traffic. Preferably placed near front desks, entrances and lobbies, library digital signage can provide people with the necessary information that they need and can even promote new things that the library wants to highlight.
(Way)finding a Book
Closely linked to the book directory is the use of a wayfinding solution. With the technology, when a student searches for a book, they can be shown a 3D map that points to exactly where the book is located, down to the floor, aisle and shelf. Since most libraries are massive, students can then send the directions to his or her mobile phone. As he or she navigates the facility, digital school signs are placed at key turning points, providing guidance as they walk around with the help of a digital map.
FWI’s Wayfinding Solution and Content Player can make this scenario a reality. FWI can create 2D and 3D dynamic maps with multi-floor views. This library digital signage also supports mobile wayfinding, where a real-time map with a static starting point and target destination can be created, giving students an animated path and a list of turn-by-turn instructions from a tablet or mobile device. The link to this dynamic map can be sent via SMS, email or integrated QR code scan.
FWI’s Content Player can consequently be used to display both static and dynamic signs in libraries’ key areas to show specific directions so that people won't get lost. These digital school signs can also display relevant content such as the promotion of a local library event, announcements and even some interesting and helpful trivia that would appeal to its students.
Keeping Costs Down
Manual operations are very costly. Library staff is often composed of very experienced professionals. One good way to maximize their knowledge, experience and skills is to take trivial tasks off their hands and have them focus on bigger things – like thinking of more unique and creative ways to bring innovation to the library and better help the community. Digital school signs can contribute to making this happen. By promoting a self-service culture in the library, staff can lessen their administrative and logistics time. With this, they can direct their energy to more fruitful endeavors that can bring a unique twist to the space, driving more people to the library.
University libraries need not be stuck in the past. Digital school signs are a perfect way to make libraries more efficient by making it easy to search and find books. Library digital signage can also introduce a self-service culture, a practice that would not only make things more efficient but can help cut down costs. Through digital school signs, library staff can focus on more value-adding activities that can help transform the facility and bring more value to students and the rest of the community.