The Public Library Evolves
Public library changes driving furniture choice
Like yesterday’s libraries, today’s public libraries are primarily tasked with providing access to information. But unlike yesterday’s libraries, today’s libraries serve a much wider purpose. In addition to being a place of reading and learning, today’s public libraries also serve as community centers – places where people can meet, collaborate, learn, and even socialize.
As the public library evolves, so too does its furniture needs. In addition to traditional library furniture such as shelving, bookcases, desks, and study carrels, public libraries must consider the following furniture:
• Soft seating. Comfortable chairs and couches enable users to read, meet, socialize, and collaborate. Soft seating comes in many different styles and colors, to complement your library’s décor. Soft seating is typically used in community spaces and common areas, and can often be rearranged to accommodate different sized groups.
• Classroom furniture. As today’s library doubles as a community learning center, more libraries are incorporating teaching classrooms into their designs. Desks, podiums, tables, and chairs are commonly used in these situations.
• Children’s furniture. One of the goals of today’s library is to engage users of all ages. Furniture designed specifically for children, and designed to enhance their experience, is available in a wide variety of styles and colors.
• Café furniture. Many of today’s libraries include a place to eat, drink, relax, and socialize. Library cafes are typically furnished with small café tables chairs, intimately arranged soft seating, and booths.
• Furniture designed to support technology. Furniture designed to completely integrate technology include laptop-equipped study cubicles and carrels, and tables, chairs, and desks designed to facilitate computer use.
For more information on furnishing your public library, visit BCI Libraries.