LSJ Editors' Blog: New career opportunity

08 September 2006

New career opportunity

Perhaps library schools should add "Wayfinding" to their curriculum if places like Seattle are going to keep building wacky libraries. The people at LIS News found this story about a woman who has a job as Wayfinder at the new Seattle Central Library. Apparently so many people were getting lost, they had to hire someone to help patrons navigate their way through the library....

The Seattle Public Library hired Faulk - who calls herself a professional "wayfinder" - this year to help visitors navigate its downtown building, which was designed by Rem Koolhaas and opened in 2004. The glass-and-metal-mesh structure with the offset levels and spiraling rows of books won rave reviews from architecture critics, but tourists and book-borrowers kept getting lost.

This summer, Faulk - who's being paid $49,000 - placed several signs at the library. Some are in the main lobby, with arrows pointing to escalators and to the restrooms, back and to the right.

But there are still areas in the library that can seem like a labyrinth, and the system is planning to put in more of Faulk's signs next year. At the top of the escalator to the fifth floor, for instance, there's no sign for the escalator to the sixth floor. Faulk thinks one is called for.

Pretty sweet gig for 49k!


Anonymous jennimi said...

Ha! First I'd want to know how far 49large goes in Seattle! :)

See students, you never know where volunteering to give campus tours at Orientation can get you.

Blogger Eli Guinnee said...

Jessamyn at has some links to the current shockingly cheap looking SPL signage on this post.


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