2016 PR Xchange Award Winner

Eating in the library. Some libraries have an anything goes approach to it, while others try to manage it in different ways. At Georgia State University Library, the staff were noticing that the food-anywhere approach was not really working for them. As Kaydee Wilson explains,  “a lack of a clear and consistent food and drink policy prompted many students to eat hot meals at the Library, typically while studying with friends or working at computer stations. This lead to several issues… including stained and unsightly furniture at computer stations and seating areas, pungent and distracting food odors, as well as crumbs and left-behind garbage”.

In response, GSU Library took another look at their food policy and made some key changes, including banning food at the computer workstations. Since this policy involved taking away existing privileges, there was concern internally that there might be backlash from students. Wilson decided to use humour and design in the marketing to minimize a possible negative reaction, “…we chose to advertise the new policy using colorful signage with eye-catching graphics and messaging. The large, single-colored food images appeared unusual and out of place in comparison to our traditional signage, thus mirroring the messaging: that meals in the library are distracting and are best eaten elsewhere.

These posters won in the category of Print Advocacy Materials, $10,000,000 – $15,000,000, at the 2016 PR Xchange Awards. View the full listing of award winners (PDF).

Creator: Katherine (Kaydee) Wilson
Institution: Georgia State University Library