As specialists in educational space design, we consider here the requirements unique to these unique spaces and how they are changing. Designing libraries and learning spaces has become more complex over recent years with the introduction of shared services, self-service, merchandising and
e-books, and accepted requirements for spaces for collaboration and to enhance wellbeing. The scope for designing a library space is broad (and will only get broader!) and needs to take a considered, strategic, collaborative approach.
Libraries come in all shapes and sizes. In fact, few building projects are as complex as a library in terms of a mixed audience, equipment, and purpose. To maintain the utilisation and requirement for libraries and resource centres, the space itself must continue to evolve and adapt.
This whitepaper is constructed from research undertaken with schools and colleges in the UK, although we have worked extensively with establishments across the world, and anecdotally at least, the challenges and requirements for library spaces appear to be similar.
Over the last six months, we have conducted a number of discovery interviews and surveyed hundreds of librarians and support staff. Our research highlights recurring themes from shelving and light to storage and comfort levels and more. We present our findings in this whitepaper.
Our survey revealed that the top 5 on a librarian’s wish list are:
1) More/better SHELVING (38%)
2) Soft SEATING areas (30%)
3) Better TABLES (25%)
4) Interactive DISPLAY (25%)
5) More STORAGE (21%)
Effective Library Spaces
We have taken the results of our research and used them to influence our team of innovation specialists and designers to design libraries that best support students, the community, and a schools underlying ethos.