Since books began to compete with other media, be it radio, television, or most recently the internet, libraries have needed to market themselves. It ranges from the simple “Read – it’s good for you message” often promoted by public libraries, to marketing for particular services that are a benefit to the community, whoever that community may be.
Maria Popova at Brain Pickings scoured the internet for these excellent vintage library posters, that represent a variety of ways that libraries communicate with users through illustration and the printed word, AKA posters.
Once we manage to get people into the library, we need even more signs. We use unfamiliar classification systems, catalogs to find the material you need (at least they aren’t on the old cardboard cards anymore, though I did love rifling through those as a kid) and then there’s figuring out how in the heck the library is arranged.
Whether you want to watch DVDs for free, listen to music, get help with your taxes or finding a job, learn new computer skills, find answers to obscure questions, learn how to research or find a quiet place to study, there is a library out there for you.
I don’t know if these posters are under copyright still but I’d love to display some in the Libraries I work in, even if they aren’t targeting our particular community. We don’t see charming illustration like this anymore. See other examples at Brain Pickings, linked from the images above.
- via Brain Pickings