As the needs of our culture continue to evolve, our libraries are adapting to meet those needs. Today, libraries need to be more than just about the books and other resources they offer. People need places where they can collaborate, learn, study, and explore. That’s why library design is so crucial in this day and age: a well-designed space can greatly improve the user’s experience, making it more engaging and productive. Whether you’re accommodating tech-savvy students or facilitating focused study groups, optimizing your library in the following three ways can create a space that meets the diverse needs of your patrons.
- Provide Plenty of Charging Stations
People today tend to bring an assortment of electronic devices to the library, such as laptops, tablets, and smartphones. Providing ample charging stations equips them to use these devices without worry of battery depletion. Strategically place charging stations throughout the library, including study areas, lounges, and even in quiet corners. This not only encourages longer visits, but it also enhances the convenience of using digital references or e-books. For an even more seamless experience, consider installing wireless charging surfaces. Many modern library furnishings like desks and workstations now come equipped with charging capabilities.
- Provide Dedicated Spaces for Quiet and Collaboration
In any modern library, it’s important to provide both dedicated quiet spaces and collaborative areas. A designated quiet area allows patrons to focus without interruption from other visitors. For those who need a more stimulating atmosphere, create a space where they can collaborate with other library users and work together on projects or presentations. This could include group study rooms,pods, or collaboration zones. Many of today’s libraries also include maker spaces, computer labs, and other multi-functional areas to accommodate the various activities that can take place. Many of these spaces can be created using a variety of desk and table options, as well as glass-enclosed spaces–and many of these can be installed with the flexibility to change room sizes to accommodate various groups.
- Incorporate Comfortable Furnishings to Accommodate a Wide Range of Needs
Some users will come to the library to collaborate (and sometimes even socialize). Others will come seeking privacy. Whatever the case, comfort goes a long way in making patrons feel welcome. Investing in comfortable furniture allows people to stay longer and be more productive. Don’t skimp on the seating, as library users often need to stay focused for hours at a time. Try to place chairs in study areas that offer plenty of support; some models can even be adjusted to accommodate different body types. And laptop tables are a great addition to provide patrons with a convenient work space for their laptops and tablets.
When it comes to library design, try to think of your space as an ecosystem. Incorporating the right mix of furniture, technology, and seating can create a welcoming environment that caters to the needs of many different users. At Creative Library Concepts, we can provide and install a full range of furnishings and architectural products to help make your library that your entire community can use and enjoy. Reach out to us to learn more.