Public spaces are constantly evolving and libraries are no exception. Libraries are always investing in new technologies to increase reader satisfaction and become more efficient.
These technologies include digital wayfinding, book scanners, robots, and even 3D printers.
Library screens are a great way to modernise your library and can encourage members to come back and read!
There are many reasons people visit libraries. Some go to study, others go to borrow the latest bestseller, and some visit to encourage their children to read. In some cases, library members simply want some peace and quiet to read and relax. Whatever the reason you’ll want to provide members and visitors with the best experience possible.
Here are 7 ways screens are transforming the library experience.
There are many books available at libraries. In fact, some libraries hold millions of books. With so many on offer, locating a specific book can be a daunting task.
In the past, static signs used to do a great job of pointing users towards the right section or area of the library. If a member wanted a specific history book, they would need to locate the “history” sign. Once at the history section they would need to search the shelves to look for the book.
These challenges can be amplified in larger libraries that have multiple floors and are constantly updating their stock. Members need up to date information that will allow them to find the right books.
This is where digital library screens come into play…
Using digital wayfinding in libraries is a great way of improving the experience of library members and visitors. By installing a digital kiosk, library-goers can search for a particular book, and receive real-time directions. This can save precious time… Time that could be spent reading their new book!
Moreover, if the library needs to update sections, stock, or directions, they can do so in minutes. Through digital signage software, the library can log on, update the content, click update, and all of their screens will show the new content. With static signs, libraries could be waiting weeks for changes.
2. Promote New Books and Events
Libraries need to constantly boost their offering to keep readers excited and engaged.
With digital library screens, it’s possible to schedule promotions leading up to the day of a new release. A library screen can include videos from the author or book reviewers. From this, members decide if they would enjoy the latest releases.
The benefits of digital library screens don’t stop there. With digital signage, you can incorporate an RFID reader (card scanner). These RFID readers are a great way to add levels to the library experience and boost member engagement.
A great example is for keeping children entertained. For example, characters from their favourite books can have an RFID chip inside them. Once they are scanned on the RFID reader, they could trigger videos of the characters. Bringing the story to life! This could be a great addition to children’s group reading sessions.
Screens can also be utilised to promote events – like reading clubs, ‘read-a-thons’, workshops, or ongoings that are happening in the community.
3. Schedule Content
With many events, holidays, and activities going on during the year, libraries will need to stay ahead of the game. This involves planning ahead.
For promotional material throughout the year, it can be a pain running a ‘print as you go’ scheme. If you’re not using screens and are relying on print material, this would mean rushing to print all the posters only a few days before an event starts. However, with digital library displays, content can be scheduled to play at specific times months in advance. Think of all that time saved from having to pin up and print out posters!
Scheduling is especially helpful for seasonal promotions. For example, Christmas content can be scheduled to play long before the holiday season. This allows you to prepare for the busy festive period, without the hassle of rushing to make content a week before the festivities begin. The scheduling feature is a fail-safe digital signage feature. It saves you priceless time and will keep your library organised.
4. Promote Library Messages
Digital library screens are a great way to inform members and readers about important issues. As we’ve mentioned, posters can blend into the background and often display outdated content. If there is an issue in the library, for example, readers failing to return books back to their shelves; a polite message on a digital library screen can be an eye-catching, welcoming reminder.
A digital library screen is also a great way to praise and celebrate positive moments in the library. For example, if someone hits 50 years being an active member, you can add a nice message to the library screens to celebrate. Alternatively, if there is news about new developments like getting more books, digital screens or renovations – you can let people know by updating your screen network.
5. Social Media
Social media is more important than ever for connecting with your audience. More and more libraries are utilising social platforms to connect with their readers. It acts as an additional channel to update members with library ongoings.
With digital library screens and digital signage software, you can display your live social media feed directly to your screen network. This adds a new level of engagement between the library and its members. This will also help members stay informed and up to date.
In your Library Social Media Strategy, you should promote the creation of user-generated content (UGC) – this falls under the category of anything posted about you by your members (photos, videos, text, etc). This has so many benefits including improvements in SEO, increasing personalisation, boosting outreach as well as improving customer confidence/trust. This UGC can be shared to your Library screens through a live social media feed.
You should interact and share UGC with your following, to make your members feel appreciated.
You could ask for this UGC by starting a competition – that could be by asking your audience to share a photo of their current read or favourite book, or by tagging their friends in the comments, and so on. They could win a FREE bookmark, book, stationery set, or anything else book-related. This would be worth the cost for the gained traffic generated.
6. Strengthen Brand Identity
Brand identity is crucial. You want your members to be able to instantly recognise your content across platforms – whether that’s emails, social media, or through your digital screens. The more likely members recognise your content the more likely they will engage with it. This can help lead to more sign-ups to library schemes and walk-ins.
Brand identity involves using the same recognisable elements in your marketing material that make you unique and stand out. Examples, of these elements, include fonts, colours, and brand voice.
Brand identity is important across all channels. Whether it’s a post on social media, or an update on one of your screens, brand identity is key. By aligning all your content and keeping it “on brand” not only does your library appear more professional, it makes your content more recognisable.
If you have poor brand identity, members won’t be able to match content to the library. For example, if your brand colours are blue and white across your website and social media, but your screen content is pink and green, your members will think the content is irrelevant. This leads to disengagement.
Library digital signage is a great way to strengthen your brand identity. By including all your brand elements across your content you keep it relevant and looking professional.
7. Engaging Library Members through screens
No matter what industry your orgnaisation exists in, the engagement of your customers, members or audience is key. If your audience is more engaged they are more likely to consume your content, sign up to events, and turn into fans.
But how can you increase the engagement of your members at your library using digital signage?
Member Events – Events are a great way to engage a variety of members. E.g. on a Monday evening at 6 pm, invite 10-15-year-olds to come along and test their knowledge about Harry Potter. You could quiz things like ‘what’s the sport played’ or ‘what house is Harry in’. It could be Kahoot-style where you have interaction with one another. Or using the displays to show answers.
Autor Quotes – Why not display inspirational book quotes and reference the book or author (to build interest). Like “There is some good in this world, and it’s worth fighting for.” — J.R.R. Tolkien.
Charity Events – You could run a challenge in support of a local charity. This might be in the form of a ‘read-a-thon’ – to encourage people to pick up a certain book type. If your chosen charity was one to do with animals you could promote picking up fiction to do with animals, and so on… Then you could ask for donations or donate the proceeds of particular books. This will help to improve libraries reputation too.
Seasonal Content – Keep members engaged with seasonal specific content. Maybe you launch a 12 books of Christmas scheme or advent calendar of book quotes. Not only does it help members get into the Christmas spirit, but it also helps keep them excited and coming back during the holidays.
There’s a higher frequency of libraries introducing digital signage to improve customer experience and to encourage more people to read! If you have any questions about digital signage for libraries, speak to us using the button below.