Passive Aggressive Library Signs

As a previous post discussed, Dominican University’s Crown Library loves passive aggressive library signs.  Well, they have some new a horribly offensive library signs.  And the week they decide to post these is during National Library Week.  These signs definitely warrant display over at the passive aggressive library sign post over at buzzfeed. The signs, seen below, obstruct the entrance to the library.

I really enjoy the use of exclamation points, all caps, and redundant language.  The best part is point four “Limit computer time to one hour if you are not doing work (that means Facebook, Twitter, email, games, etc.)”.  Not to mention how out of touch with the institution this sign is, but what about the fact that the Library of Congress thinks that Twitter is important enough that they are Twitter’s archive. Or how about the fact that many of us are researching social media and communication tools and in terms of information behavior or informational retrieval.

The best part is that many of the classes in the Graduate School of Library and Information talk about how bad these signs are.  Not only does this continue to perpetuate a poor image of the library, but it shows a strong lack of trust in the patrons, and devalues their (my) forms of communication, socialization and entertainment.

Maybe instead of creating signs like this, the library could focus on improving ILL (up to a month to receive an article), collections (GSLIS is not supported electronically by many of the core journals (Library Trends for example), e-reserves,  cataloging integrity (Pauline Atherton Cochran gave a guest talk to the doctoral students today and declared Dominican’s catalog as pathetic [for example she has two authority entries]) or collections.

Enjoy the signs:

Love the all caps, are you yelling at me?

The welcome to the library sign?  Nope, might as well say get out.

This shows the sign, and the same sign ten feet in at the staircase.  Just so you really get the message!  And what is the message?  I will leave that for you to decide.

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4 Comments

Filed under signage

4 responses to “Passive Aggressive Library Signs

  1. Leslie Cerkoney

    I hope those are still up tomorrow so I can see them in person. Great post! I think your point is valid and so true. I wonder who actually made and posted these signs? Maybe if I ask around I can find out the purpose behind “THE SIGNS”.

  2. Anthony Molaro

    Leslie,
    Being that tomorrow is Sunday, I would guess that they would still be posted. I would be interested as well.

  3. Bella Karr Gerlich

    Anthony –

    Thank you for your posting concerning Crown Library. As you know, I have an open door policy and you and your classmates can come and talk with me anytime in my office. That is Crown 112, 1st floor. I also welcome solutions or constructive suggestions, and look forward to such input in the future.

    Regarding the signs – these were posted recently after receiving numerous complaints from students (undergraduates and graduates) and library visitors about the extreme noise in the library that was interrupting their studying and work process (both group and individual).

    As soon as the signs were put up, things quieted down considerably – perhaps the message is a little old fashioned, but the signs worked and help support the staff who have to reinforce the policies of the library. In the meantime, we are working with a marketing class this spring who is giving us suggestions for outreach so we should have some more modern signage in the future.

    In your post, you note:

    ” “Limit computer time to one hour if you are not doing work (that means Facebook, Twitter, email, games, etc.)”. Not to mention how out of touch with the institution this sign is, but what about the fact that the Library of Congress thinks that Twitter is important enough that they are Twitter’s archive. Or how about the fact that many of us are researching social media and communication tools and in terms of information behavior or informational retrieval.”

    Just to so you understand our intention, we are not out of touch – but we do have limited computers – about 50 to serve all of our users. We often see students standing and waiting in a queue to use workstations so they can get their turn to write a paper or check an online assignment, or do research (or maybe check Facebook); and this is why we ask them to limit time if they are not doing ‘work’ during crunch time at the end of the semester. I’ll pass along your comments to the appropriate people, however; it will help reinforce the need for more computers.

    Again, thanks for comments. Next time you are on campus, please make an appointment with me so I can discuss the ILL requests, collections or catalog integrity concerns – I need more information to address these issues in the appropriate venue.

    Sincerely,

    Dr. Bella Karr Gerlich
    University Librarian
    Dominican University

  4. Anthony Molaro

    Bella,
    Thank you for your reply. I am glad to hear that you all are looking at better signage. I am sure that the doctoral students would love a visit from you to discuss matters of ILL requests, collections and catalog integrity. Please feel free to stop up and say hi to us. I would be happy to provide you with our schedule for the summer term.

    I am also happy to hear that you recognize a computer shortage and I look forward to your leadership in addressing this issue.

    Next time I’m on campus during business hours, I will be sure to stop in and say hi. I tried a few times last week, but you weren’t in.

    Warmly,
    Anthony Molaro
    Head of Technical Services and Automation
    Messenger Public Library

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