Basic library design considerations for libraries of all types
While all libraries are not created equal and each will have its own unique needs to consider during the design process, there are some basic matters to contemplate during the planning and design phases. This article explores five things to think about.
- Technology. Today’s libraries must provide easy access to technology. Carrels and desks should be equipped with the necessary outlets and ports, and there should be plenty of computer tables scattered throughout the library to meet user need. Storage shelves for different types of media, including CDs, is also important to consider during the library design phase.
- Accessibility. The library must be accessible to its demographic. Children’s areas should feature appropriately sized shelving, tables, and chairs. Many of today’s computer tables are adjustable, making them easy to use for people of all heights, as well as while sitting or standing. Wheelchair accessible furniture is also necessary.
- Lighting. Good lighting is key in any library, and should comprise a combination of natural lighting, overhead lighting, and table lighting. Today’s library furniture often comes with built-in lighting to improve the patron experience. In addition, many shelving units also come with lighting features that make it easier to find and see displayed books.
- User-Friendliness. Today’s libraries must be easy to use. Strategically placed information desks reduce user stress, help orient the visitor, and ensure that there is always a place to ask where to find materials and service.
- Comfort. The best libraries are those that have welcoming atmospheres, and are attractive and inviting. While every library will have a slightly different layout, it’s important that comfortable seating areas, designed for both individuals and groups, are included in the library design.
For more information about the library design and planning phases, be sure to visit BCI Libraries’ design process page.