For those of us in academic libraries, it’s that time of year again: Finals Week (or impending Finals Doom, depending on who you ask). All of our laptops are checked out, extension cords line the walkways, and students begin appearing more and more disheveled as the week progresses. Our patrons are less interested in research help (all those papers were due last week!) and more interested in the amount of coffee needed to power through an all-night study session.

One thing that often changes during this time of year are our hours of operation. Extended hours during finals week, fewer open hours immediately afterward–all of these changes require eye-catching, easy-to-scan signage. Here are a few great signage submissions advertising library hours.

Edita Sicken, Instruction and Access Services Librarian at Manchester University’s Funderburg Library, used Canva to create the her library’s changing hours signage.

Extended Hours Signage

Here’s what Edita had to say about her hours signage:

I used Canva for all of these and none of them utilize any of their pay-per-use graphics. Some of the images used were our own, most of them are under creative commons licenses. I’m well-versed in Photoshop, Illustrator, and Publisher but Canva is really handy to use because of all the templates, filters, fonts, and graphic elements that are readily available. Plus there’s a mobile version available so if I’m out at a conference with my iPad and realize I forgot to get a promo image out, I can throw one together really quick!

Fall Break Hours Signage Spring Break Hours Signage

Sometimes our library’s operating schedule can get a bit complicated, which means our signage often suffers from too much information all at once.

Jonas Lamb, Public Services Librarian at the University of Alaska-Southeast’s Egan Library, recently revamped his library’s hours signage using Photoshop. Here’s the old version, which, as Jonas mentions, “often got over complicated with intersession and holiday exceptions.”

Egan Library Old Signage

You can see that the new versions follow a nice template with variations in color for different times of year. It’s a great way to highlight changes in hours while still maintaining a steady look and feel.

Egan Library Summer Hours
Here’s Jonas’ talking about this new signage:

I’d reached my wit’s end with library signage designed using Word, Publisher, PPT, etc and finally taught myself enough Photoshop to put something visually simple to refresh our existing signage.  Around the same time we began using 4×6 acrylic table top-6 sided sign holders and an 80” digital display so I had an opportunity to re-use elements of the new design into a variety of sizes and layouts, subtracting text elements where appropriate.

Egan Library Spring Hours

Egan Library Regular Hours

What are your solutions to advertising modified hours of operation? Do you have other signage you’d like to share? Or better yet, signage you want to change but aren’t sure how it can be improved? Let us know!

PDF and JPEG versions of Edita’s Canva signs are available on the Librarian Design Share Google Drive, as are Jonas’ original Photoshop files.  As always, resuse designs responsibly!

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