The Modernization of SIGNS: A Library Leads the Way to Networked Digital Signage by ProQuest


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                                              Kendall Larson and Allison Quam

                                      Ubiquitous sign and media saturation has challenged
                                          us to design and maintain effective signage that
                                                           is conspicuous and commands
                                                                  a moment of attention.

36 | APRIL 2010 »
                                                                                                                                 COMPUTERS IN LIBRARIES
                                                                               the modernization of signs: a library leads the way to networked digital signage

       ike the 1970s rock group Five Man Electrical Band
       said, “Sign, sign, everywhere a sign.” Whether the
       average person views 300 marketing messages a day
or 3,000, advertisements are commonplace and prevalent.
At Winona State University’s Krueger Library, where
Kendall Larson is an associate professor and Allison Quam
is an assistant professor, informational and directional signs
are an essential part of the interior space. Yet the ubiqui-
tous sign and media saturation has challenged us to design
and maintain effective signage that is conspicuous and com-
mands a moment of attention.

The Evolution of Library Signs
                                                                    Figure 1: An example of one of the library slide templates
    The story of signs at Krueger Library is one that will bear
a significant resemblance to that of many other libraries.          setting that included but was not limited to the library. As a
Over the past 5 years, the sign evolution has progressed ex-        result of these discussions, in the fall of 2009 the university
ponentially—from ephemeral paper signs to PowerPoint                implemented a centrally coordinated digital signage system.
slideshows to, most recently, networked digital signage. We         The first participants included the library, the College of Sci-
experimented with homegrown approaches to conveying in-             ence and Engineering, the College of Business, Kryszko Com-
formation digitally. We created simple PowerPoint slideshows,       mons (Student Union), Winona State University (WSU) Ca-
showcasing library services and resources, which we displayed       reer Services, and Information Technology.
on a monitor connected to a laptop on a podium. The Power-
Point slideshow evolved to the use of iMovie videos, with both
                                                                    How We Did It: Networked Digital Signage
slideshow and videos burned to DVDs that were playe
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