Guideline UL-ADG06 Stacks Signage (University Park)

Main Policy Content


  • Purpose
  • Introduction
  • Guidelines
    • Stacks Guides (Rangefinders)
    • Shelving End Panels
    • Shelving Layouts/Diagrams
    • Patron Instructional Signage
  • Responsibilities
    • Fabrication
    • Modification
  • Cross References


To provide a framework for understanding and applying the Libraries’ Signage Policy with regard to the nature and disposition of signage in collection stack areas.

The intention of these guidelines is not to inhibit creativity, but to ensure that consistencies in form and function are easily recognizable throughout the Libraries’ system at University Park by establishing uniform standards of style and design.

Requests for specialized signage, and/or design formats that do not comply with the recommended guidelines, should be submitted in accordance with procedures defined in the Signage Policy.


Stacks signage can be regarded as a special class of signs needed for wayfinding in the book stacks, falling outside the Libraries’ Interior Wayfinding Signage System and OPP standards, but necessary for the effective use and operation of the Libraries.

By maintaining consistency in the format and design of signage throughout all University Park library locations, we provide continuity for the users, and assist in establishing a visual identity.

Stacks Guides: (Rangefinders)

Stack guides define the specific sequence of a classification system within any given space of shelving. Guides at the ends of each row of shelving (range) define the classifications within that row. Guides at each cross aisle define the sequence from the aisle to the end of the row, in each corresponding direction.

  1. Size/Dimension/Color – standard dimensions, consistent with design of brackets. May vary depending upon the make and model of brackets being used. Most commercial rangefinder brackets accommodate a standard 3” x 5” white index card format. The Collection Maintenance Unit has developed standardized templates to print rangefinders on 8.5" x 11" cardstock (65# multipurpose cover paper) with a laser printer.
  2. Format/Style – General collection guides consist of two lines, the starting and ending classification numbers in the sequence. 
  3. Font Style – Upper Case, Arial Black, 28 point.
  4. Specialized, discrete, and controlled collections may include a header above these two lines, identifying the Subject Library and/or collection (e.g., Business Reference, Legal Alcove, Education Instructional Materials, US Documents, Oversize, etc.)
  5. Unbound Journal collections and shelf edge labels may require some modification but should be visually consistent with standard rangefinder formats.

Shelving End Panels:

Decorations (such as book jackets) on shelving end panels cannot interfere with or reduce the visibility of maps, identifiers, and other standardized wayfinding information.

  1. Collection Identifiers — specialized, discrete collections should be identified with a standardized design format, and mounted in appropriate locations in accordance with the Signage Policy. Signs identifying the subject matter or other descriptive subset of the collection should be consistent in design and orientation as listed in the Stack Guides (Rangefinders) section above.
  2. Temporary — may include signs indicating short-term work projects, such as collection shifts, temporary holding areas, and other such explanations as a courtesy to library patrons. A magnetic sign holder in a standard 8.5” x 11” format is recommended. White paper with Arial Black font style with black font color is standard sign text. All temporary signs should be immediately removed when they no longer serve their purpose, in accordance with the Signage Policy.

Shelving Layouts/Diagrams:

Shelving layouts/diagrams should be printed on white paper with Arial Black font style with black font color. Other assistive information that supplements the Libraries’ Interior Wayfinding Signage System should not duplicate information. 

Placement should be consistent relative to the purpose (e.g., shelving layouts should be uniform in design and placement).

Patron Instructional Signage:

Signage directing patrons in the handling of materials will be standardized and duplicated across all locations.

  1. Library book trucks with "Please do not reshelve books" with standardized signage following the "Shelving End Panels - Temporary" as outlined in this document.
  2. Explanatory information (Call numbers) - Information that directs or explains the structural sequence of various classification systems, LC subject headings, etc., to patrons should be provided in the form of Web-based resources.



The responsibility for fabrication and installation of stacks signage may vary, depending upon the nature and function of each type of sign. Considerations associated with the location of individual libraries, such as administrative relationships, building design, etc., may also have an influence on particular needs.

As a general guideline, the responsibility for identifying specific needs and maintaining signage relating to individual collections rests with the units or departments bearing primary responsibility for the disposition and maintenance of those collections.

Rangefinders are maintained by persons or units responsible for the associated collections. Contact Collection Maintenance for Rangefinders Template.


In accordance with the Signage Policy in collaboration with Public Relations and Marketing, each department or unit is responsible for maintaining informational signs pertaining to associated services or functions, and for those that are temporary or site-specific (such as inserts for free-standing sign holders). Pre-designed templates of signs for specific purposes should be used whenever possible. 


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

UL-AD05 - Signage (University Park)

Requests for additional wayfinding singage in the Interior Wayfinding Signage System format shall be directed to the Libraries' Facilities Office.

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

Revision History (and effective dates):

  • February 2022 - Revised
  • November 14, 2005 -- New guideline

Last Review Date: February 2022