New Horizons in Library Marketing and Signage

The other day I was at the Mall of America, where commercialism takes forms purer and more intense than anywhere else. Looking around me, I could not help but notice a trend I had only peripherally been aware of before: ultra-specialty stores carrying a narrow category of products, aimed at fans of that narrow category. "Alpaca Connection", "Garlic Shoppe", "Endangered Species", and "All About Purple" are just a few examples of these types of stores at the Mall of America. As a friend commented sternly as we passed Alpaca Connection, "No llamas. Just alpacas. So if you're looking for llamas, boy, are you in the wrong store." (We never did find the llama store, but I have to believe there is one.)

All absurdity aside, it occurred to me that libraries might well benefit from borrowing a page out of this marketing book, especially where signage is concerned. What if instead of the 940 (European History) section or the SH (Aquaculture) section, we offered our patrons "Old World Or Bust" or "Fish For All"? Or, to narrow things down a bit further, how about...

Kid Central

Nothing But Nonfiction
Fiction Faire
...and miscellaneous sections that might be very useful near the check-out (I mean, circulation desk):

This piece was the Whimsy of the Week at for the week of Oct. 1-7, 2000!

©Jennifer Friedman 9/17/00