Whether large or small, designing a library space can be a very daunting task if you are going into it without any tips or tricks. It is difficult to even think of where to begin when designing a library. It is important to design a space that will be appealing to people of all ages, while facilitating group discussion and individual reflection as well. Educational spaces can often times feel stuffy and uninviting, which is something to avoid when laying out a new library. Designing with user-friendly areas and aesthetic in mind, there are a few vital pieces of advice you can follow when designing your new library.
The first step you should take when designing a new library is asking the people who will be coming there what they want to see. After all, it is all about the customers. Gain input from users of all ages by using focus groups, surveys, and different interview techniques. Think about each patron group, like children, teens, adults, and senior citizens, and how each of these groups will utilize the space differently. Color, style, durability, and materials will vary from group to group. Try to balance these differences while also keeping in mind that the library will need to have a cohesive look and feel to the entire building.
Another important aspect of library design is comfort; after all, people will be spending hours at a time there reading, writing, or working. Choose furniture pieces that will make customers feel welcomed to the space. This is not limited to only lounge furniture, but to desks, tables, and chairs as well. Keep ergonomics in mind as well, to keep people not only comfortable, but healthy. Ask vendors whether you can test out items before you purchase them; most of the time, they will say yes!.
Just because you are designing a library does not mean that the space needs to be stuffy or boring. Look into new styles, colors, and ideas when picking furniture, paint, and fixtures. Pick a bold color or a funky fixture to break up the monotony of the space. Shop around and get ideas, and not only from other libraries. Frequent museums, malls, or shops to gain inspiration. Never settle for easy and cheap; find pieces that speak to you because they will ultimately speak to your customers too. Stick to classic pieces that have stood the test of time; do not fall into design trends. Though balancing durability, quality, comfort, and cost can be daunting, it can definitely be done.
Questions? Glover is Here to Help
If you still have more questions going into designing your new library, Glover is here for you. For more information or to speak with one of our trained professions, give us a call at 1-800-966-9016 or contact us online. To see examples of our work and stay in touch, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Pinterest.