Emory Libraries poised to begin major digital signage initiative

Photo of staff at a brainstorming session

LITS staff in brainstorming session: (L to R) Mary McAliley, Tara McCurley, Michael Buchmann, and Jack Scott.

This week, various Library employees met with representatives from Four Winds Interactive (FWI) to begin designing a modern digital signage offering for Emory Libraries. FWI, which won a competitive bidding process to secure the Libraries’ contract, spent three days on campus to begin the development of a comprehensive visual communication strategy.

Hosted by members of the Digital Signage Task Force, FWI toured the buildings selected for the initial offering, conducted communications, wayfinding, and marketing strategy sessions, interviewed students, staff, and visitors, and presented a preliminary strategy overview to Yolanda Cooper and the task force.

“We are excited to begin this phase of the project,” said task force spokesman Norman Hulme, who played an important role in bringing FWI on campus. “After many months of research and planning, it is good to start the development work.”

Scheduled to be installed by the beginning of the Fall 2017 semester, this digital signage solution will focus on ease of use and content that can be tailored to each individual sign location.

Some of the major elements that are expected in the rollout are resource availability, how-to questions and answers, event calendaring and marketing, community profiling, facilities updates, emergency notifications, and wayfinding, which will allow users to interactively get directions within the libraries and around campus.

Four Winds Interactive logoThe FWI team, which included a communications consultant, a user experience designer, and a digital signage developer, established a foundation of goal awareness, setting benchmarks for success, and answering the question: how will this signage trigger a response?

Hulme presented the signage update to the Libraries All-Staff meeting on February 24. According to Norman, “To help FWI get started, we created a MoSCoW matrix which established our must haves, should haves, could haves, and a wish list.”

Although the initial rollout is strictly for the Woodruff Library, the Computing Center at Cox Hall, and the Woodruff Health Sciences Library, the team expects this pilot to have a campus-wide impact.

“We are hoping that FWI will become the vendor choice for Emory,” said task force chair Alex Kyrychenko. “This would lead to signage consistency across our enterprise.”

For years, various Emory departments have chosen their own digital signage options out of necessity. A centralized system would lead to overall savings as larger numbers of licenses are discounted by FWI.

Already, FWI is in negotiation to bring their unified solution to the Winship Cancer Institute and the new Emory hospital tower. A major vendor in higher education, FWI has an account with Georgia Tech, which would make digital signage for the jointly-controlled Library Service Center much easier, and is meeting with Georgia State University to talk about their needs as well.

Special kudos go to the Digital Signage Task Force, which includes Christeene Alcosiba, Amy Boucher, Norman HulmeSusan Klopper, Alex Kyrychenko, Hannah RogersJack Scott, Michael Williamson, and Leslie Wingate.

For more information, contact Norman Hulme at nhulme [at] emory [dot] edu.

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