Transforming a Library into a Gathering Space
Anode executed a digital exhibit strategy to turn the Vanderbilt Central Library into a community destination.
Many colleges and universities struggle to establish their libraries as a community gathering space. Technology such as interactive digital signage and touchscreen exhibits can bring common areas to life by promoting community involvement and fostering the exchange of ideas.
The Vanderbilt Central Library engaged Anode to conceptualize and implement a digital exhibit strategy as part of a multi-million dollar renovation project to re-establish the Library as a destination for students, faculty and the Nashville community. Working hand-in-hand with Library staff, campus planners, and contracted architects, Anode was responsible for the conceptual development and execution of thirteen digital media installations.
Underutilized public spaces created the perfect opportunity to showcase the Library’s special collections. Through a combination of physical cases, environmental graphics and nine touchscreen displays, the Library now offers an engaging display of both physical and digital artifacts. For these interactive exhibits, Anode incorporated the company’s proprietary FireSignTM Dynamic Digital Signage software. The FireSign platform allows the Library staff to update or create new touchsreen exhibits for the Library’s ongoing programming.
One of the most common challenges for academic libraries is guiding a visitor through a complex building layout. At each main entrance, the Vanderbilt Central Library installed a touchscreen directory powered by the FireSign Concierge Application. These touchscreens provide an interactive wayfinding tool to help students and visitors find any location or event located in the Library. For each entry, visitors will find a complete text description, a reference image and a map with walking directions from the specific screen location. All data is managed through FireSign’s online administration tool, which allows the Library to quickly add new events and stay on top of room changes.
Reactive Floor Projection
The value of the academic library extends well beyond the walls of the physical building. A library with online access to its digital resources can serve researchers across the globe. To create a visual representation of research at Vanderbilt University, Anode created a unique interactive floor projection.
The floor projection includes a data cloud of more than 160 continually changing words and phrases captured from real-time searches against the Library’s collection management system. New search terms are added in brightly colored type and then fade to white as newer terms are incorporated. When a visitor enters the projection area, infrared cameras detect movement and cause the projected words to react with the individual’s movement.
The outward appearance of a library sets the tone for the visitor experience inside. To communicate the dramatically new interior of the Vanderbilt Central Library, Anode created a distinctive digital art piece to enhance the building’s exterior.
Working closely with the architects and Library staff, Anode delivered the technology for a large-format LED display that wraps one corner of the Library’s facade. The display measures forty feet long by five feet tall, and the graphics are carefully designed to serve as an outdoor extension of the exhibits inside. As with the interactive exhibits inside the Library, this passive outdoor display is managed through the FireSign platform.