Thursday, May 21, 2009

Almost there

Latest (and close to final) iteration of new noise signage:

I need to crisp up the tag cloud image and give the text another good hard look.

Monday, April 27, 2009

PSA Widget

From The White House Blog:

I know that flu epidemics can be serious and scary things, but I'm tickled that our administration is using blogs and widgets to communicate.

The "Things You Can Do" list is full of good common-sense type advice, and I recommend looking at it. Sometimes we really do need to be encouraged to stay home when we're sick.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Sign mock-up #1

Here's the text:

While in the Libraries, remember that others are

created at

Please show consideration to those around you by keeping your conversations reasonably quiet.


Seems full of words to me, still, but I like the tag cloud image.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Signage ideas and examples?

Last year, after quite a bit of conversation, we decided to take down our "No Cell Phones in the Libraries" signs. Huzzah!

However, with no signs up about noise levels, there's been some confusion over whether or not phones are allowed and about noise in general. Now that Holland & Terrell Libraries are cell phone friendly, we need some signage to let people know that all conversations (IRL or on phones) need to be conducted with respect for surrounding students. I'd like to avoid going into specific noise levels in a way that might imply we're policing for noise, and I'd especially like something that promoted the idea that our library space is our patrons' space and that we trust them to make good choices.

I've been scanning the web and have found a few jumping off points (Many thanks to Aaron at Walking Paper for collecting so many great images of signs!), but any suggestions or examples would be greatly appreciated.

Ideally, the language should be clear and brief. Bonus points for humor and helpful images!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Belated Valentine's Day post

So, Valentine's Day has come and gone, but today I saw that John Green, who has written some darned good YA novels (An Abundance of Katherines, Looking for Alaska, and Paper Towns, among others) has some fine answers the age-old question, "How do I get boys to like me?" And it seemed like the sort of thing that I would have liked to hear on Valentine's Day when I was fifteen.

So here it is, all funny and sweet and stuff.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Good customer service

My trip to the ALA Midwinter conference wasn't exactly fraught with peril, but winter travel is always time consuming and never predictable. After arriving in your hotel lobby an hour before midnight, after spending 15+ hours in airports and on planes, the last thing you want to hear is that the hotel is overbooked and you have to go somewhere else.

I was very cranky with the Hyatt Regency, and with traveling, and with the conference, which I wouldn't have attended this year if my life had worked out in happier ways, more than five months ago. I was tired, self-pitying, and disappointed (but hopefully polite) as I took myself off to the room at the Comfort Inn that the Hyatt arranged for me that Friday night.

The next morning, as I returned to the Hyatt, it became clear to me that this place does customer service right. First, their manager admitted to making a mistake, then he apologized for it, sincerely and thoughtfully, letting me know that they new it wasn't pleasant for a customer arriving late in the day to encounter an overbooked hotel. They gave me access to the Regency Lounge (free breakfasts!), sent another note of apology with fruit later Saturday evening, and didn't charge me anything for Friday night's reservation. All nice things, but what still sticks with me is the sincerity of the apology I received. No one at the Hyatt knew how ambivalent I was about attending Midwinter this year, or that I haven't been the happiest of campers lately. But they recognized me as a human being and valuable customer; they took responsibility and made amends. They not only did the right thing, they made me feel better.

How often, in Libraries, do we make mistakes, admit to them, and make things right for our patrons? How often do we do this graciously and thoughtfully? It takes a lot of bravery to do this. To do this right, I think it takes a sincere desire to serve people well. I am now looking to serve my patrons better and more thoughtfully.

Thank you, Hyatt. I'll be back.