more on verbiage in this IMS blog
more on verbiage in this IMS blog
more on writing and proofreading in this IMS blog
Please look on the bottom of this blog entry for more resources
| Effective Library Signage: Tips, Tricks, & Best Practices Workshop
A 90-minute workshop, Thursday, January 5, 2017, 2:30pm Eastern/1:30 Central/12:30 Mountain/11:30am PacificLibrary signage represents the first lines of communication between a library user and the library. Are you doing everything to ensure that your signage is user friendly and inviting? Although we have the best intentions, sometimes our signage can be punitive, contradictory, outdated, or passive aggressive.In this new workshop, Mark Aaron Polger and Amy F. Stempler, library professionals who’ve conducted a four yearlong study at the College of Staten Island, CUNY that involved an extensive signage audit and replacement project, will provide you with the top ten tips to follow when preparing new signage for your library. They will discuss what constitutes “bad” and “good” signage and the importance of developing a signage policy to ensure consistency in design and overall language. Other topics that will be addressed will be placement, ADA compliancy, branding, design, verbiage, and the use of images, language, and font. You’ll come out of this workshop with the best practices to assess your current signage and develop improved signage for your institution.Learning Outcomes
After participating in this workshop, you will be able to:
About the Instructors
Mark Aaron Polger is the first year experience librarian and information literacy instructor at the College of Staten Island, City University of New York (CUNY). His responsibilities include promoting library services and resources to first year students and providing library instruction and information literacy classes. Polger’s research interests include library marketing, outreach, and user experience design. He has written and presented on topics ranging from library marketing strategies, faculty outreach, Information Literacy outreach, embedded librarianship, library jargon, and library signage. Polger holds a BA in Sociology from Concordia University, an MA in Sociology from the University of Waterloo, a B.Ed. in adult education from Brock University, and an MLIS from the University of Western Ontario. He is currently pursuing his Ph.D. in Curriculum, Instruction, and the Science of Learning at SUNY University at Buffalo.
Amy F. Stempler is an associate professor in the library department at the College of Staten Island, CUNY, where she has worked since 2008. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree and Master’s Degree in History from The George Washington University and a Master’s Degree in Library and Information Science Degree from the Pratt Institute. Stempler is currently the coordinator of library instruction, and has written on library signage, Jewish history, Judaica librarianship, and the role of archives in environmental history.
more on signage for libraries:
Polger, M. A., & Stempler, A. F. (2014). Out with the Old, In with the New: Best Practices for Replacing Library Signage. Public Services Quarterly, 10(2), 67-95. doi:10.1080/15228959.2014.904210
authors’ thesis is that library signs are living documents
Stempler, A. F., & Polger, M. A. (2013). Do You See the Signs? Evaluating Language, Branding, and Design in a Library Signage Audit. Public Services Quarterly, 9(2), 121-135. doi:10.1080/15228959.2013.785881
To be effective, signage must be consistent, concise, and free of jargon and punitive language.
more on the use of signage in the library in this IMS blog:
This one’s easy: Don’t do what everyone else is doing. If you see a trend popping up in bios, don’t immediately change your bio to reflect that trend. Everyone ends up using the same verbiage, the same phrases, the same descriptors.
Another trend is to include a disclaimer—the most popular being, “Views are my own.” This is the Twitter equivalent of saying “I will bore you to death.” This disclaimer doesn’t serve any real legal purpose, nor will it save your job. If your employer requires it, do it, but other than that, leave it off.
The key takeaway here? When you see a trend, run the other way. If you’re compelled to follow a popular trend, at least put it through your personal lens first. Change it enough that the thread is there, but it’s clear you’ve put more thought into it than simply following the crowd.
Make an impact on your audience by crafting a sentence or two that convey your expertise. Choose the most important things you do; state them in a clear, compelling way; and then explain why your skills should matter to the visitor. The challenge, of course, is brevity.
In addition consider that hashtags, @s and links—the language of Twitter—are clickable in your profile. I’m always surprised that more people aren’t using these valuable opportunities in their Twitter bios.
Jim Cramer’s Twitter bio has two simple, concise sentences that promote and link to his website, charitable trust, his CNBC show and his blog.
It would have been easy to make a laundry list of those properties along with his book titles and accolades (just like everyone else). Instead, two well-crafted sentences emphasize his most important efforts and include links to each.
In your Twitter settings you have the option to set your location and provide a link to your website. Since Cramer’s main bio already links to his website, he uses his sidebar link to point to his author page.
Make the most of your real estate. If you have too much to convey in a sentence or two, get creative—use your sidebar link.
If you operate other accounts, go ahead and add them. These simple links are such an easy way to build your followers for other accounts or your website. Don’t miss out on this opportunity.
On the other hand, you don’t always need a list of keywords or even sentences to convey your sentiment. Sometimes, a single word can make a serious impact.
If you can creatively distill your abilities to one word, you’ve snagged yourself a punchy, powerful piece of the creativity pie.
I’m not talking about lying about your abilities. I’m talking about tongue-in-cheek obvious exaggeration.
An obvious “lie” can be funny and attract attention. For example, since when is Ellen an ice road trucker?
Smart Twitter users know that a static profile is boring and uncreative. Change it up based on what’s current in your career or marketing initiatives.
Changing your profile bio helps you keep followers abreast of your new accolades or endeavors (e.g., launching a new business or writing a book). Adapting your profile keeps you interesting. And best of all, it forces you to be creative more often.
Say “hello” or “goodbye” to your followers. When you speak directly to someone, you stand a much better chance of actually gaining his or her attention.
Use the word “you” rather than “I” in your profile—it becomes more of a personal message and less of a brag. With that simple change, your bio becomes more inviting.
Over to You
The New York Times calls Twitter bios a postmodern art form. If it’s an art form, then we are the artists. I encourage you to try some of these tips and see where your own creative artistry takes you.
Creativity doesn’t come with an instruction manual. You’ll probably find yours at weird moments when you least expect it. I know a lot of people who have that a-ha! moment in the shower!