Policy UL-AD05 Signage (University Park)

Main Policy Content


  • Objective
  • Definitions
  • Procedures and Guidelines
    • Emergency Signage
    • Permanent Exterior and Interior Signage
    • Provisional Signage
    • Regulatory Signage
    • Temporary Signage
  • Cross References


In 2002, responding to the need for an attractive, consistent, and accessible signage and wayfinding system in the new complex, The University Libraries retained Corbin Design as consultants to complete a design for Pattee Library and Paterno Library.  Corbin presented a satisfactory design, and the signage was installed in March 2004.  The University Libraries’ Interior Wayfinding and Signage System consists of a standard language and format designating library services and functional locations.  This format is now the standard for all further directional and location signage throughout the University Park Libraries’ system.

This policy provides guidance for those instances when adding or changing signs is necessary; limits the proliferation of non-standard signage so that the Libraries present an overall impression of order and professional management of the facilities; and intends to reduce the incidence of damage to facilities from use of inappropriate materials to affix signs to surfaces.


Emergency Signage — created in response to an emergency, such as early closings during a weather emergency, are not covered by this policy.  During such instances staff are expected to use their best judgment and materials at hand to create the necessary signage.

Permanent Signage — mounted as permanent fixtures (e.g., room identifiers and occupant-named space identifiers, wayfinding maps) and perpetually-maintained signage (fixed position but continually updated content, e.g., hours signs, stack signage, rangefinders).

Provisional Signage — is short-term, mounted as a solution to an expressed or perceived need pending decision on a permanent sign.

Temporary Signage — is time-limited, such as event publicity, service promotional campaigns, or alerts.


No insubstantial paper signage will be affixed directly to walls, equipment, fixtures or furniture without an approved sign holder.

Signage shall not exceed 11 inches by 17 inches in size, unless authorization has been granted by the Libraries’ Administration (Dean, Associate or Assistant Dean).

Emergency Signage:

Not covered by this policy.

Permanent Exterior and Interior Signage:

Requests for appropriate permanent signage will be submitted to the Libraries’ Facilities Administration Department for approval, sign material selection, and placement. 

Permanent Signage for Exhibits — Labels and other signage for formal exhibits in designated exhibit areas are the responsibility of the unit to which the space belongs.  Curators of exhibits shall have discretion to mount temporary signage appropriate to the area and the exhibit.  Such signage shall be presented in an attractive and professional manner.  Designated exhibit areas are discrete, defined spaces set aside for exhibits.  Stack end panels and other incidental areas do not constitute designated exhibit spaces.

Missing or damaged permanent signage will be reported to the Libraries Helpdesk (staff only).

Provisional Signage:

Provisional signs will include an expiration date, will not be left up past the expiration date, and will be removed by the person or unit responsible for posting it.

Signs should not be handwritten.

Public Relations and Marketing maintains a library of approved designs and templates for provisional and temporary signage on its Web site.

If the need for a sign extends past its expiration date, a request for review for permanent signage must be submitted to the Libraries’ Facilities Administration Department prior to expiration.

Regulatory Signage:

The Facilities Administration Department will be responsible for monitoring and updating all regulatory signage required to comply with Building Code and Physical Plant policies.

Other types of regulatory signage may include those driven by Libraries’ or governmental policy (code of conduct, cell phone and food/drink restrictions, Pennsylvania statute, copyright regulations).  These signs will be mounted in standard sign holders as listed on the Facilities Administration Web site.  Templates for these types of signs are available from Public Relations and Marketing.

Regulatory signage will be uniform throughout the University Park Libraries.

Temporary Signage:

Unit and Department Heads are responsible for compliance with the policy and may authorize or prohibit the posting of temporary signs or temporary publicity in their areas.  Signage must conform with established conventions for all areas visible to the public.

All temporary signage must include an expiration date, and shall be removed immediately after an event (i.e., Open House, Extended Hours, lectures, exhibits, etc.) by the person or unit responsible for posting it.

All temporary signage shall be placed in portable or permanently-mounted sign holders purchased to accommodate such signage.  (To requisition additional sign holders, use the Facilities Administration Web link, referenced above.)  [Note: An exception to these holders is made for Open House signage.  It will be the responsibility of the Open House Committee and individual departments to contact the Facilities Administration Department for recommended materials that can be used as adhesives that will not mar the physical structure of the building.]

The Office of Public Relations and Marketing is responsible for the development of publicity materials, including posters and signage, for Libraries’ sponsored events.

Public Relations and Marketing maintains a library of signs and sign templates on its Web site to be used for promotional signage where feasible.  Promotional signage or posters, for which no suitable template exists, will be requested from Public Relations and Marketing.  

Posting of Temporary Signage in Building Lobbies — Temporary signage in the lobbies of East, Central, and West entrances to Pattee Library and Paterno Library must be approved by Public Relations and Marketing, which is responsible for these areas.

Use of Bulletin Boards for Temporary Signs — Postings on bulletin boards will remain within the frame of the board. Postings will be limited to one copy per board.  Multiple postings or postings extending outside the perimeter of the board will be removed by the Facilities Administration staff.

For public use . . .
The Office of Physical Plant is responsible for the bulletin boards in common areas (hallways, stairwells).  Historically, OPP Janitorial staff remove all materials from these boards at the end of each semester.

Public-use bulletin boards within departments are considered signage holders and fall under the policies for temporary signage as defined above.

For internal/departmental use . . .
Each unit is responsible for maintaining internally used bulletin boards in their area.  All materials should be reviewed for currency each semester.  Bulletin boards located in staff lounges are included in this category.


Other Policies in this manual should also be referenced, especially the following:

Guideline UL-ADG06 - Stacks Signage (University Park)
Form:  Signage Request Form

Effective Date: November 14, 2005
Date Approved: November 14, 2005 (Dean's Library Council)

Revision History (and effective dates):

  • February 25, 2010 – Editorial; Reference to a Signage Steering Committee removed
  • November 14, 2005 – Supersedes October 1995 policy
  • October 2, 1995 – New policy

Last Review Date:  February 2010