Discovery by Design: A Wayfinding Approach to BrowsingMichael A. Wirtz - Virginia Commonwealth University in Qatar  The Pro...
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Discovery by Design: A Wayfinding Approach to Browsing (poster)


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Michael Wirtz, Virginia Commonwealth University - Qatar, poster session at the VRA + ARLIS/NA 2nd Joint Conference in Minneapolis, MN.

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Discovery by Design: A Wayfinding Approach to Browsing (poster)

  1. 1. Discovery by Design: A Wayfinding Approach to BrowsingMichael A. Wirtz - Virginia Commonwealth University in Qatar The Problem As part of a design project, a group of junior-level graphic design students Although library staff was unwilling to undertake the stu- conducted interviews with their peers and found a significant number had dents’ recommendation to abandon the LC Classification a difficult time finding material in our library collection. Common problems scheme and replace it with a color-coded bookstore-like were: difficulty making sense of the LC Classification scheme, problems model, we did determine that we should look at alternatives determining where one subject area started and another ended, and an that would increase the ability to browse the collection. inability to find (browse) books in particular subject areas. A -- GENERAL WORKS General Works B -- PHILOSOPHY. PSYCHOLOGY. RELIGION Philosophy - Religion C -- AUXILIARY SCIENCES OF HISTORY History D -- WORLD HISTORY AND HISTORY OF EUROPE, Geography - Anthropology ASIA, AFRICA, AUSTRALIA, NEW ZEALAND, ETC. Social Sciences E -- HISTORY OF THE AMERICAS Political Science F -- HISTORY OF THE AMERICAS Law G -- GEOGRAPHY. ANTHROPOLOGY. RECREATION Education H -- SOCIAL SCIENCES Music J -- POLITICAL SCIENCE Visual Arts K – LAW Architecture L -- EDUCATION Drawing - Graphic Design M -- MUSIC AND BOOKS ON MUSIC Painting N -- FINE ARTS Print Media P -- LANGUAGE AND LITERATURE Decorative Arts Q – SCIENCE Arts in General R – MEDICINE Literature S – AGRICULTURE Science T – TECHNOLOGY Agriculture U -- MILITARY SCIENCE Technology V -- NAVAL SCIENCE Photography Z -- BIBLIOGRAPHY. LIBRARY SCIENCE. Industrial Design INFORMATION RESOURCES (GENERAL) Arts and Crafts - Fashion Military Science The Solution Naval Sciece In coordination with VCUQ’s marketing/communication office, we developed signage around a “wayfinding” concept, or a system Typography - Bookmaking that uses a combination of graphics and text to help orient the user to a particular area within the collection. To do this, we made several changes to the way we presented the collection...1) Develop a “flat,” natural-language subject heading system – Although it is based on LC Subjectheadings, the new system collapses some areas and expands others into one non-hierarchicalsystem tailored to our collection and our users.2) De-emphasize the LC Classification call numbers – Before the redesign, the signage on 3) Remain consistent and reinforce the system –the ends of our shelving reflected only the contained call number range. Although the call number The system is designed to become part of theranges are retained on the new design, the emphasis is on the subjects. library’s identity. The idea is not only to communicate the existence of the wayfinding model, but also to reinforce the idea of color/subject connections. Using the graphic elements in the wayfinding model as a marketing device also has the added benefit of bringing attention to the variety of material our collection contains.