Document Type



One could easily mistake Clinton Kelly’s closing keynote presentation at ACRL 2011 in Philadelphia last March as light fare. Kelly, cohost of TLC’s What Not To Wear, spoke enthusiastically about the importance of one’s appearance and the necessity of making an extra effort in the way individuals present themselves. His keynote address, and the fact that a fashion expert was a speaker at a conference for librarians, sparked debates on Twitter and in the blogosphere.

Do appearances matter? I say they do and add that this applies to buildings and objects, as well. Academic libraries, especially, could benefit from some of Kelly’s advice. For too long, we have expected students to visit the library because they have to, without making an effort to make their experiences satisfying and productive. The Internet makes it possible to access resources and assistance without visiting in person; we need to work harder to give students a reason to come to the library. Outdated or inefficient signage, confusing wayfinding, and uncomfortable seating can make an in-person visit frustrating and unsatisfying. Here, some advice from Kelly and how we can apply them to libraries.


Academic libraries; Interior decoration; Kelly; Clinton; Library decoration


Interior Architecture | Library and Information Science | Marketing | Public Relations and Advertising

Search your library