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18 Apr 2010 / Julie

solution for libraries: digital photo frames

We’re all looking for new, shinier, and better ways to promote ourselves to our customers. Or perhaps just a way to reduce the mass of paper signage. Usually, we think BIG- giant flat screens at entrances and service points flashing the latest event information or latest new materials…

Instead of a ginormous flat screen why not try digital photo frames at your service points? Digital photo frames are CHEAP these days and will allow you to scroll through those static images promoting your program showtimes, upcoming events, new materials, reminders about dvd’s or databases, or even photos from your last exciting event! $50-$100 will buy you a good 7-10 inch frame that you can easily add images to. But you can get fancier than that if you wish, a lot of digital photo frames today are interactive with the internet. Your desktops and bulletin boards will be clear and your customer will still be informed (and maybe even a little wowed). It’s a low investment, high return no-brainer.

Here’s some ideas on what you can put on your service-desk photo frames:

  • program showtimes
  • upcoming events
  • local weather (libraries are also an information center, after all)
  • new materials promotion
  • location of “quiet” or study rooms
  • clues for library treasure hunts
  • reminders about dvd’s, videogames, databases, classes, etc
  • photos from your last program
  • website URL
  • list of hours or upcoming holidays
  • pointers (ie, “go to the x desk and sign up for a library card,” “people wearing the red ‘Ask Me’ button are here to help”)
  • … what else? (share your ideas in the comments!)

Keep your content fresh with new material and make sure you have the scroll time set slow enough that people can read it, but fast enough that they know it actually scrolls.

If you are able to purchase a giant screen, make sure you’re utilizing to the best of it’s ability (read: not static images!). Have your library’s twitter stream scrolling at the bottom (like McMaster University), show current news, or the latest library vod-cast on how to access information about going green. Think outside the… screen. Seattle Public Library has multiple screens that show keyword clouds, recent books checked back in, live data and all sorts of fun LIVE data (the library is a living breathing thing, you know).

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