Library Design for Children and Adolescents
Four tips for designing libraries that are attractive to the younger crowd
Many of today’s modern libraries consider the needs of children and adolescents during the library design phase. What separates those that are successful, from those that are not? This article shares four tips for designing library spaces that young people love.
Tip #1: Gather opinions. In order to ensure that children and teens truly enjoy the space you design, you have to get a feel for what they want. To the extent that you can, involve them in the library design process. Build a focus group or ask local children and teens to serve on a planning committee, and find out what features young users desire, and what they would like the space to look like.
Tip #2: Determine the function of your library space. In addition to housing books, what other purposes will it serve? Today’s modern libraries include features such as cafes, study rooms, listening and viewing areas, art exhibits, and even dance floors designed specifically for children and teens.
Tip #3: Choose materials. Keeping the aesthetics of your main space in mind, and considering the needs and desires of your younger library patrons, determine what kinds of materials you’ll use to build your children’s and young adults areas.
Tip #4: Figure out what types of furniture will best suit your needs. You’ll want furniture that suits every feature, from reading areas to cafes, from group gathering places to study areas. When choosing furniture during the library design process, remember that it should be sturdy, aesthetically pleasing to young people, comfortable, and sized and ergonomically designed with younger, smaller bodies in mind.
When you follow these four tips, you’ll be more likely to design a library space that younger patrons appreciate and use. For more inspiration on library design, visit BCI Libraries.