University Park, PA

Penn State Libraries

The crown jewels of Penn State’s library system, Pattee Library and Paterno Library house nine subject libraries and millions of books and periodicals. When the $34.4 million Paterno Library was completed in 2000, the attached libraries needed a comprehensive wayfinding system to guide students and researchers through the 490,000 square feet of space to the information they sought.

Corbin was already familiar with Penn State, having developed exterior wayfinding systems for the main campus at University Park and at other university campuses.

For the libraries, Corbin designed an elegant system using oak trim and veneers that match the furniture and interior finishes. A unique custom ring sign identifying the circulation desk is suspended from the vaulted ceiling by aircraft cables.

The sign types include main building and floor directories, stack maps, and information display elements. Existing directional signs and room identification signs were upgraded using the existing color scheme (green for Paterno and purple for Pattee).

A key part of the system was identifying the preferred public pathways through the two main libraries, which only connect on the first floor.