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Project: Digital Signage

Equipment: All signs require a display unit (TV or monitor), a controller (computer) and software to display content. We experimented with several configurations including hardware: Raspberry Pi, Intel Compute Stick, and an old (ready for the recycle bin) Windows PC. Software: Screenly OSE, Xibo, and Concerto.

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Price: Varies. You can implement this with a screen as small as a digital picture frame. Raspberry Pi kits are less than $70, Intel Compute Stick $125. All software controllers have a free version.

Software: We tested out Xibo (open source), Screenly OSE (open source), and Concerto (open source). All have paid options, but we focused on the FREE ones. All were fairly easy to install and use.

Why this project? Having the ability to centrally advertise our programs and services is an improvement over paper signs that are easily overlooked. In addition, our sign in the Gallery (a space used to display juried art shows) makes it possible to show video content from artists.

Appeal Factors: Strongly visual.

Tech savvy needed to implement: Intermediate.

Staff training: Instructions to update signs were provided to staff and no further tech training was required for updates. We have had a few artist made presentations that require IT intervention to post because they required conversions.

Implementation tips and hints: We experimented with several combinations of hardware and software. Eventually we will standardize all signs. We learned to buy the biggest screens we can afford for the space we have available.

Marketing: The signs market themselves.

Patron feedback: We have had many positive comments about the digital signs. The one located behind the circulation desk has resulted in several comments about “I didn’t know you did/had that here.”

Things we should have done differently: We will move to a common platform to simplify management of the signs.

Categories: Community

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