Digital Signage in a modern library
Typical libraries are not necessarily associated with the use of new technologies and generally understood modernity. One of the biggest revolutions in many modern Polish libraries included introduction of a computer catalogue and an electronic reader database. Possibilities offered by DS are not yet fully discovered by these institutions, although this, too, is slowly beginning to change.
DS media allow e.g. library readers to be informed in real time e.g. about events related to operation of the library, as well as to provide interactive games and quizzes. In addition, DS systems are excellent as a digital information point or an interactive map of the building. Another excellent idea may include creation of an interactive catalogue of books which not only displays availability of the given title in real time, but also – in the case of bigger buildings – indicates the location of the book.
Installation of DS solutions in non-profit and charity organisations will provide simplification of procedures and time savings, but also will not generate any extra costs (the staff already employed at the library may be trained in system operation). And what is important – a library equipped with such solutions will be positively associated with modern technologies, becoming more attractive for younger users. Additionally, interactive and multimedia solutions will significantly expand the scope of “competences” of the library, and thanks to their attractiveness, they may support reading.
We presented examples of several libraries which decided to implement DS solutions below.
Bloomingdale’s Public Library
In 2013, the Bloomingdale’s Public Library implemented its own, expandd DS system including an array of LCD displays providing not only practical information and notifications of events related to the library. The content also includes history of the library, motivational quotes and word games and trivia related to various scientific disciplines.
Midland County Public Library
In 2014, Midland also invested in implementation of a DS system at a local library. The library was equipped with 10 LCD screens as a part of its upgrade. The objective was to define new quality in searching for information, gaining knowledge and to change the general perception of the library.
This objective was achieved using 2 types of interactive applications – educational games and plays for children (in English and Spanish, as well as adapted to disabled children), as well as a catalogue of books facilitating navigation throughout the library.
The Stanford Libraries
Stanford University libraries have been implementing DS systems for quite a while now. The implemented solutions included not only strictly informative content presented on LCD screens, but also interactive applications, e.g. to communicate students and other library users, as well as allowing participation in various games engaging the entire university campus.
Biblioteka Uniwersytecka (University Library) in Toruń
Two DS technology media are also present at the University Library of the Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń. The library obtained the media from the Marshal’s Office in Toruń, as a part of the eKultura (eCulture) programme. They are currently used in promotion of events related to library operation, as well of university events.
The aforementioned examples do not even remotely provide all possibilities DS systems can offer to libraries, however, they indicate some general recommendations regarding how to implement new technologies at such locations.