Nashville has become a cultural and ethnic melting pot in the Southeast U.S., with citizens from many countries drawn to the creativity and openness of the vibrant city. This is particularly true of the southeast part of Nashville where the city’s newest library branch has opened. Nashville's leaders recognized the potential of this area and chose it as the site of the new Southeast Branch, giving this diverse community a hub that would bring people together and celebrate both their differences and their shared values.
Nashville has become a cultural and ethnic melting pot in the Southeast U.S., with citizens from many countries drawn to the creativity and openness of the vibrant city. This is particularly true of the southeast part of Nashville where the city’s newest library branch has opened. Nashville’s leaders recognized the potential of this area and chose it as the site of the new Southeast Branch, giving this diverse community a hub that would bring people together and celebrate both their differences and their shared values.
While a fresh, new library could be expected to fulfill this role, the branch’s executives believed that advanced digital technology would be a strong additional asset. They became excited about the new forms of video walls; particularly about the emerging class of architectural video tiles, such as the Planar® Mosaic™ Architectural Video Wall from Planar Systems. Working with conceptual artist, Susan Hulme, and Anode, Inc., a Nashville-based interactive media company, a digital art concept was developed using Planar Mosaic to express the cultural diversity of the southeast community on an installation called Sharing the Moon.
An assemblage of nine Planar Mosaic video tiles, interspersed among 43 backlit LED boxes – arranged across a 37-foot wall space – provides a cutting-edge platform for expressing the Sharing the Moon concept. Artist Susan Hulme says this visual representation of text and artwork “provides a nexus of curiosity, discovery and inspiration.” Stephanie Rodriguez, the library’s branch manager says the installation “draws people into the library and further establishes it as a center of cultural and community activity.”
Rodriguez comments further saying that “Planar Mosaic, by its unique style, communicates that libraries are changing and evolving. Its unique tile shapes attract your attention and inspire you to come in and explore all we have to offer. And whether the viewer is American, Spanish, Arabic, Ethiopian or Vietnamese, he or she sees themselves reflected in the content, which enhances the sense of community here.”
On the library’s back wall, above the stacks and book shelves, Anode installed the Planar Mosaic video tiles and LED light boxes such that they can be seen from the front of the space, even from outside. Jeff Peden Sales and Marketing Director for Anode says two of Planar Mosaic’s three available tile sizes were chosen: the 46- inch rectangle (AD46-Pablo™) and the 22-inch square (AD22-Salvador™).
“The square is important because it’s the only one of its type on the market. People are used to seeing large rectangular displays – they’re becoming a fixture in many retail stores today – but not squares like the 22-inch Salvador. There’s nothing else like it so it really catches your eye.”
Beyond the asymmetrical design of Planar Mosaic – the ability to mix and match different tile shapes and sizes and mount them in new and different orientations – Peden cites the other reasons the tiles were selected for the library. Mounting of Planar Mosaic is easy as a result of its Mosaic Mount™, which supports any orientation of a tile and simple push-in/push-out attachment.
Second, Planar Mosaic features off-board, rack-mountable power supply modules that can be located away from the video wall. Power cables can be daisy-chained through a group of Planar Mosaic tiles, eliminating the need for power outlets behind each tile. Planar Mosaic is also available with a redundant power option for uninterrupted 24x7 operation.
And Planar Mosaic has exceptional content handling capability and image quality. Currently, the tiles display text – messages in the Sharing the Moon theme – against a calm, muted background color. The library can expand on or change this messaging, including showing 4k video (3840 x 2160 resolution) across all Mosaic tiles – as it is now doing – and displaying it at up to 700-nit brightness.
Lastly, with tiles weighing between about 16 and 50 pounds, installation can be done very cost effectively. “Whereas large video walls require us to use lifts or heavy scaffolding, neither is required with Planar Mosaic. This minimizes the number of technicians we need for an installation, enables a faster install, and keeps costs down for the library,” Peden adds.