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Kansas City Public Library: North-East Branch

Library Installs Beautiful, Oversized Digital Signage to Spotlight Neighborhood’s Historic Murals & Art

The hyphen in North-East isn’t a typo. The North-East Branch opened in 1989, merging the public libraries previously housed at Northeast High School and East High School. The branch serves a highly diverse Kansas City neighborhood brimming with immigrants and families.

Before the branch closed for renovation and redesign in December 2019, neighborhood stakeholders and organizations that serve the immigrant and refugee community shared their visions for the new library. Much of that feedback was incorporated including contemporary library materials, new computers, vibrantly colored spaces and furnishings, The Studio for public meeting space and programs, better views and natural lighting and Refugee & Immigrant Services & Empowerment’s (RISE) new headquarters.

One new feature—oversized digital signage—spotlights Northeast’s historic murals and art, which have become distinguishing features of the neighborhood. Twenty years ago, a local artist drew a mural like a coloring book and invited the community to fill in the ribbons that became the Patriotic Mural and is still visible today at the viaduct at Ninth and Hardesty streets. It was the beginning of colorful murals and public art across Northeast. Some 40-45 paintings now adorn businesses, schools and abandoned buildings.

Keywest Technology Delivers Digital Signage to Make Walls Come Alive with Art

Keywest Technology’s digital signage makes the branch walls come alive with new original art curated by the library, local artists and activists.

More than 30 of those images are spotlighted in an exhibit, Community in Color: Murals of the Historic Northeast. It features high-definition, digitally displayed photographs of the murals and other alfresco artwork shot by Kansas City photographer David Remley.

Beyond Acting as an Art Installment, Branch Staff Needed a User-Friendly Digital Signage Solution

The primary purpose of the digital signage was to showcase local artists, thus, being able to change out images and content on the fly was needed.

Michael Daly, Kansas City Public Library’s Events and Audio-Visual Supervisor, wanted to “check out” a solution that:

· Was affordable

· Was attention-grabbing and beautiful by sheer size

· Multiple staff members could easily and quickly learn to use

· Required only hours, not days, for training

· Had a centralized system with user access controls that would allow for signage to be added at other libraries all on the same server while allowing branch users to only see their content and players

Daly explains, “The display and software meets all of our needs, and multiple teams recommended it for library use. Plus, another selling point for us is that Keywest Technology is a local Kansas City company.”

Keywest Technology takes the guesswork out of digital signage. We offer cloud-based digital signage solutions that meet the needs and expectations of any size organization. The oversized digital signage’s installation location was chosen for maximum impact, and library staff was trained to use Breeze, our digital signage software that features drag-and-drop editing, in a matter of hours.

Daly says, “We’re hoping to use the digital display for messaging beyond the art installation and expand more signs to other branches throughout the Kansas City Public Library system.”

Contact Keywest Technology for your customized digital signage needs.

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