The closed elevator doors showing a wolf in sheep's clothing

Submitted by: Melanie Lefkowitz, Staff Writer and Social Media Coordinator and Carla DeMello, Graphic Designer and Publications Coordinator
Institution: Cornell University Library

Appearances Can be Deceiving

“We had the idea for this elevator display last year, after the election, when the words “fake news” started dominating the conversation. It seemed like an opportunity to remind people that librarians are experts in evaluating information and of the importance of using critical thinking whether you’re choosing sources for a research paper or deciding whether to share a certain post on social media.

We drafted and tested many, many versions of these before finalizing the door and the wolf in sheep’s clothing. We used the opening and closing of the elevator door as a kind of “reveal” element – the images were not totally self-explanatory, but definitely attention-grabbing, and when the doors opened the sign read, “Appearances can be deceiving” and promoted Ask a Librarian services.”

Below: video shows the opening for two elevator doors, the “wolf in sheep’s clothing” door pictured above, and a second door which reads “don’t fall for fake” upon opening.

Below: the image in the elevator decal used for social media marketing for a library workshop

Engaging Students with Elevator Art

“We’ve been decorating the first-floor elevator doors in Olin Library with decals for about a year, and our new university librarian, Gerald Beasley, suggested we open it up as a student art contest to encourage students to become more engaged with the library, and to make sure we’re displaying images that resonate with them. We asked students to submit artwork or images originating from their research around the theme of “The World at Cornell.” We received a wide range of submissions, from photographs taken during a climate-research trip to Patagonia to our first-place winner, a Madhubani-style painting of a Cornell scene (shown below). In judging entries, we looked for images that were visually striking, thought-provoking, and relevant to our theme. Winners received a $100 gift card to the Cornell Store.”