or, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Fear and Loathing at a Public Library Reference Desk

Good Example of Effective Signage

   January 11th, 2011

I saw this sign in Porter Square Books, and really liked it:

Thank you for feeling at home, but please keep an eye on your things sign

It is simple and to the point, while also welcoming and courteous - which I think is far more effective than harsh or impersonal. Patrons in my library are extremely casual about leaving stuff lying around (i.e., leaving a laptop on a table while they run across the street for lunch), and employing signs like this would remind people that although the library is relatively safe, it is still an open public building.

Just for the fun of it, here are some less-friendly (but sometimes funny) examples for caveat patronus signs:

we are not responsible19072008we're not responsibleNot responsibleI wouldn't do that....no tinting or dyingNot on Him."Not Responsible if Seagulls Eat your Funnel Cake" SignNot Responsiblenot responsible for lost articlesnot responsible for your lifeBeware of the Catholics

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6 Responses to “Good Example of Effective Signage”

  1. Chris Says:

    Perhaps I’ve been married to a lawyer for too long, but I doubt the nice sign at the top would do much good in a court room.

    The 7th one cracked me up… Man, not even a deity is responsible for your car!

  2. Brian Herzog Says:

    @Chris: I wondered about that too, but then wasn’t sure if someone entering a building automatically made the building owner responsible for that person’s stuff. This sign just sort of says, “don’t be a fool, fool” – but in a nice way.

  3. Stephanie Willen Brown Says:

    I kind of like “not responsible if seagulls eat your funnel cake.”

  4. Carolyn Says:

    The same day I read your post one of our patrons left her purse in the hallway. The thief took $60 but was kind enough to leave her wallet and cell phone.

  5. James Says:

    Nice enough sign, but the comma is misplaced.

  6. ccr in MA Says:

    What James said. I really like the tone of this sign, but it should have been: “…at home, but please…” instead. (Can’t help it, I’m a proofreader, aka professional nit-picker.)