Adopt an Idea
In this exercise, participants will choose from the following list of activities relating to the remodeling concepts
previously presented. They will investigate possibilities to incorporate sustainable practices, revitalize signage,
improve visibility, and enhance customer comfort or merchandising techniques. This mini “walk about” will
increase participants’ observation skills and provide action items for implementation at their own library facilities.
Instructions: Choose one of the ideas below and complete the activity. Working in pairs, perform
the task, brainstorm for solutions or recommendations, and prepare a summary of your findings for
A. Signage and Way finding
1. Is it clear at the entrance where the major program areas of the library are located? Is the
signage free of jargon and placed in the most visible locations? Where is it lacking? Are
there handmade signs taped up around the building? Is the signage friendly?
2. Are there any maps or floor plans available for customer use? Choose an area in the library
and follow the map. Is it accurate and easy to use? Do a spot check if the nomenclature on
the map matches the signage in the building?
3. How are major collection areas identified? Where are the world language books located?
If you did not speak English, would they be easy to locate?
B. Customer Comfort
1. How far (how many steps) does a customer have to walk into the building before there is a
chair available? Does the building appear clean? Is the carpet in good condition? Is there
evidence of maintenance required?
2. If you did not know what year this library was built, does the décor tell you? Which areas
of the library are appealing and which feel tired and outdated? Which one would you focus
on remodeling if you were in charge here?
C. Branding and Welcoming
1. How do the exterior and interior spaces of the library make visitors feel welcome? Is it a
good first impression? Is there any recognizable branding associated with this library?
D. Merchandising Collections and Services
1. Where and how are the collections merchandised? Is the area clear or is there butt brush
impediment? Would you like to see more displays? Where? What’s in the zone?
2. Are high use collections located near the front or the back of the store? Are they easy to
find? Does the organization promote exposure to collections?
E. Sustainability Practices
1. Does the facility exhibit energy efficiency best practices? Is there evidence of use of
daylighting? Water conservation in the rest rooms?
2. Are there exhibits on sustainability? Does the library do anything to promote sustainability
such as encourage recycling, discourage printing, or sponsor take back programs?
Low Cost Remodel. Winter 2009 - This material has been created by Linda Demmers for the Infopeople Project [infopeople.org], supported by the U.S.
Institute of Museum and Library Services under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act, administered in California by the State
Librarian. Any use of this material should credit the author and funding source.