Undeniably, a modern library must be more than just a repository of books. In the digital age where so much research is now accessible online, libraries are finding fresh purpose by creating essential spaces for collaborative study and knowledge exchange. Indeed, there is a constant need for libraries to incorporate more group study rooms to facilitate collaboration and interaction. The irony is that most libraries also struggle to create enough of these spaces because of space constraints.
The bottom line is that most library administrators want to provide more rooms for group study but aren’t sure how to add them. With that in mind, let’s look at some creative ways you can maximize the use of your available space and build more group study rooms for your facility.
Demountable glass walls are an excellent way to create flexible spaces that allow for easy modification and customization of the library environment. You can adjust the walls to create multiple group study rooms in an open-plan space, seamlessly separating groups of patrons or students from other library users, while still making use of available natural light. You can also incorporate whiteboards or digital displays into the walls to encourage more interactivity and collaboration among occupants.
Privacy Pods with Integrated Ceiling, Lighting, Power, Etc.
Another innovative method of carving out separated group study spaces is through the placement of privacy pods. Ideal for solo or small group work, these pods are effectively “movable rooms” that provide a quiet and distraction-fre e environment for intensive study, research, and collaboration. They are designed with acoustic materials that reduce ambient noise, and many come with additional features such as integrated lighting, ventilation, power outlets, work surfaces, and wireless charging. Additionally, they offer flexibility in design and can be incorporated into any library design style.
Tips for Strategic Placement and Design of Group Study Spaces
While the above solutions can certainly maximize the use of your space, you also want to incorporate these solutions in a way that doesn’t detract from your library aesthetic or make the room feel claustrophobic. Some factors to consider when creating these spaces:
- Natural and ambient light. Strategically placed glass enclosures can help you make use of available light from windows, skylights, and your existing lighting, not just for the study room itself but to avoid blocking the light for users outside these rooms.
- Acoustics and soundproofing. Maintain a reasonable noise level by placing study rooms away from quiet zones. If more baffling is needed, design your study rooms with soundproofing so that conversations don’t drift into the other areas of the library.
- Accessibility. Make sure your study rooms are easy to access for all users, especially those with disabilities. If people feel they must struggle to gain entry, they simply won’t do so.
- Furnishings. Select and place furniture within the group study room to maximize comfort and support collaboration. Consider adding tables, comfortable seating, and power outlets so that users can work in a distraction-free environment for extended periods of time.
At Creative Library Concepts, we can provide a wide array of solutions to help you incorporate more group study rooms without losing aesthetic value or functionality for the rest of your usable space. Contact us here to learn more.