Write Procedures That Work

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University Libraries


This article discusses how to create written procedures that are necessary for library work. The tools of written communications are words, illustrations, typography and format. Librarians may be particularly prone to rely on words alone and need to be aware of the importance of illustrations and typography/format. The terminology and vocabulary used in procedure writing should be consistent. This is not a place for creativity or the use of synonyms. Terms should be consistent not only within a set of instructions but with regard to labels on equipment and supplies referred to within the text. Illustrations and examples can replace or amplify words, but are seldom seen in library procedures. As people have become more visually oriented, they may be able to understand a procedure better from a line drawing, a photograph, a flow chart, or a screen simulation. An element of procedures fully as important as words and sentence structure is forma and typography. Formatting and typography create a visual effect and make employees willing, even eager, to use procedures. Procedures can be made even more usable by the effective use of typographical aids such as capital letters, underlining, boldface, and italics.

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Library Journal





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