Library SpacesRebecca Johnson andMichael KaminskiNovember 4, 2010
Historythat could have been construed as a prison
in recent yearsFurnishings, materials, colors, and lightingare just a few of the design elements in abuilding that make it an inviting place to be
Low or No Cost ImprovementsInterior layout - rearrangeSignageDisplayAdd colorWeed
Interior LayoutA comfortable library is one in which materials andservices are arranged in a logical manner and there isclear and consistent sign system.Carol R. BrownInterior Design for LibrariesSpace should have a clearly defined purposeThere should be clear traffic flowResolve conflict in multi-use space
One Space Different NeedsNoiseCalmPopular materialsStudy materialsEntertainmentEnlightenmentSelf-servicePersonal serviceGroup activitiesSolitudeLeisureLearningPublic libraries must provide a balance between thedifferent expectations of the users.
Different User ExpectationsThere are different demands for various groups -materials, ambiance and scaleThere can be antagonism between different usergroupsVarious groups may need physical separationAsk yourself: Who are my users? Does mylibrary space meet their needs?
Layout ConsiderationsUser groups Are large print items near audiobooks for seniors? Are holds near the self-checkoutmachines for self-serve users?Security Does the staff have the ability to easilyareas? Are audiovisual materials in an area that canbe monitored?Noisearea, circulation desk, and audio visual sectiontogether. Children should not have to walk throughareas should be located away from noisy areas.
Teen SpacesIn a series of focus groups held in communities across the United Statesbetween October 2006 and January 2008, teens were asked what theywould like to see in libraries. The top ten common responses were:1. More space for teens2. A separate, distinct teen area3. Comfortable furniture4. Warm, welcoming environment5. More technology such as computers and gaming equipment6. Teen-only computers7. Areas for talking and socializing as well as quiet study8. More natural light and better, cooler artificial light9. More up-to-date materials such as graphic novels, music,DVDs, popular books, magazines, and video games10. Good signs that look nice and make it easy to find things
North Village Branch Library, Austin Texas
Seating in the LibraryAre you serving groups, single users, or both?Do you need study tables, lounge, or single userstations?There is increased awareness of and demand forlearning spaces within libraries. Seating numbersmust be increased and seating for collaborativetechnologies and interactive learning must bemade available
SignageGood signage is simple, positive, and non-judgmentalStaff should not post a sign out of frustrationAn insulting sign does more damage than good andcan make library staff look out of touchToo much signage is visual clutter. There are manymessages that libraries need to communicate totheir patrons, libraries need to be pay specialattention to this idea.No sign is better than a bad sign!
Library Signage on FlickrSt. Joseph CountyPublic LibrarySouth Bend, IndianaEstes Park LibraryTrail SignEstes Park, Colorado
Hand written sign No DVDs?Do Not Reshelve(see footnotes 1 and 2)Keep it simple!
Library staff should proofread misspellings andunclear message(What will not longer be provided - the children orthe headphones?)
DisplaysToronto Public Library - Dufferton St. Clair Branch LibraryEyes tire after scanning a shelf and need a visual "break" every 18 inchesand less full shelves are more attractive and easier to view than fullyloaded shelving. - Tish Murphy
Flexible Use of Spacelibraries conceived in the 20th century were not designedfor the mixed and flexible uses of the 21stHenry MyerbergKeep Excitement High, Costs Low
Future of Library Spacesplaces, people friendly, communal spaces, places tohang out, to get away from the solitude of computer use,Michael DewePlanning Public Library BuildingsFlexible use of spacesBetter amenities cafe, gallery space,theater, and shop.
Flexible Use of SpaceFew load bearing walls to accommodate unknowntechnologies of the futureThe new infrastructures allow for movement ofcomputers, stacks, and furniture colorful partitions,partial walls, and shelving are used to separate spacesFurnishings include mobile work stations, task chairs,mobile shelving, interactive tables.
Side Note:Changing Discourse of the LibraryDigital technologies should not be seen as athreat to librariesRetooling library spaces to incorporate newways of using technologies legitimizeslibraries as purveyors of knowledge in theinformation ageits relevance and reposition itself
Other Recurring ThemesNatural lighting or LED lighting (great readinglights, long life, low heat, low voltage fixtures,does not require hardwiring)LEED certified buildings
BibliographyImpact Library Access with Bold Use of Color and Space. Clark, Rosey. Library Media Connection, Oct 2008, Vol. 27Issue 2, p16-18.Planning Public Library Buildings: Concepts and Issues for the Librarian. Micheal DeweAshgate Publishing, Ltd., 2006Interior Design for Libraries: Drawing on Function & Appeal. Carol R. BrownALA Editions, 2002Keep Excitement High, Costs Low Myerberg, Henry. Library Journal, Fall 2009 Library by Design Supplement, p14-15Designing Space for Children and Teens in Libraries and Public Spaces. Feinberg, Sandra; Keller, James R. AmericanLibraries, Apr2010, Vol. 41 Issue 4, p34-37Signage: Better None Than Bad. Leah L. White. Amerian Libraries Magazine Online. 07/12/2010Remodeling on a Budget American Libraries Magazine. Paul Signorell. Amerian Libraries Magazine Online.04/12/2010Managing Facilities for Results: Optimizing Space for Services. Cheryl Bryan. Public Library Association. AmericanLibrary Association, 2007.Library By Design Spring 2010 Library Journal SupplementLibrary by Design Fall 2010 Library Journal SupplementTeen Spaces, Second Ed. Kimberly Bolan 2008 ALA Editions, 2008Lessons for Libraries from Retail Space Planners http://webjunction.org/space-planning. Tish Murphy. Accessed11/1/10.Information, Architecture, and Hybridity: The Changing Discourse of the Public Library. Teena A. M. Carnegie; JohnAbell Technical Communication Quarterly, 1542-7625, Volume 18, Issue 3, 2009.
Bibliography Cont.Esprit de Place, Demas, Sam. Scherer, Jeffrey. American Libraries April 2002. Vol. 33. issue 4 p.65-69.Three Perspectives on Libraries as Public Space. Leckie, Gloria J. Feliciter. 2004 Issue 6 p.233-6.In the Interims Cooper, Ginnie Library by Design Fall 2010 Supplement p.1-6.Library Space, the Next Frontier Crawford, Walt Online March/Apr 1999 p61-66These Lavish Edifices Marsh Catherine. American Libraries Jan2007 Vol.38 Issue 1 p.50-53