Have you ever considered doing a “kindness audit” at your library?
- Is the signage positive?
- Are your service desks welcoming?
- Can users find their way easily?
- What obstacles do your users encounter?
I did a walk through of my library and tried to experience it from someone who has never set foot in the doors.
First a little bit about my library:
- academic library
- campus of 6,500 students, plus faculty, staff, and community members.
- 8 floors
It’s also important to note that the library does not occupy all floors: other campus offices (including the Chancellor, Provost, university human resources, etc.) occupy space in the library building. The “library proper” is floors 2-6, and part of floor 7. The outside entrance brings you into floor 2.
So what were some of the positives?
Call numbers can be confusing for the casual library user. We’ve improved our signage to incorporate subject areas:
User-friendly terminology is used for signage at the Research Help Desk (formerly called the “Reference Desk”) and the Public Services Desk (circulation, equipment, tech help):
The current Research Help Desk is three years old and replaced a “fortress” style reference desk. It’s a low desk with roller chairs, a dual monitor set-up, and a wireless keyboard and mouse. In addition, the Research Help Desk has been co-located with the Public Services Desk (Circulation) area allowing for seamless help among different library services. No more passing people between service points.
Cell Phone Signage:
Here are a few more positive notes:
What could be improved?
Many of these are infrastructure issues, while others are more cosmetic in nature: