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How do you compete with smartphones to make your library appealing to students

How do you make your library appealing to students coming of their own accord? It can be hard when competing against information delivered by smartphones and tablets. All sorts of information can be delivered directly to smartphones guzzling students attention… Some of it useful for learning and a lot of it not.

So how can you make your library more appealing to students with that sort of competition?

1. Open the space up.

Why not create an open, flowing space, full of natural light that promotes students spending time there? You can take down internal walls and barriers so the space feels inviting and easy to move around. Can you get more natural light into the space? Incorporating natural light has been shown to provide physical and psychological benefits. It can help students concentrate and has even been shown to improved test results in learning spaces.


2. Make the space multi functional.

Include furniture that can be adapted so you can use the area as a learning space, collaborative work space, individual work spaces and a space for holding other events. This way you will get students into the area more often for other reasons making them feel more comfortable using it. This efficient use of the space enhances value for money as you are using it more often.


3. Use visually compelling furniture and wall graphics.

Think about dispensing with traditional linear book shelves and go with something a little more visually appealing. Use curves and integrate coloured seating to make the area exciting for students and staff. Consider some exciting and


4. Involve students in the redesign

Hold a competition for a particular part of the project – maybe the art on the walls. At Pipers Corner Girls School they decided to have street art style murals of inspirational women in bright colours.


5. Power for devices to aid self led research and learning

Include power for devices with comfortable seating for research and other digital self-led learning. If you can’t beat them join them! Books are no longer the main way to find information, the internet is the place for this. So mobile devices, tablets and laptops are the key way students will access this information, as well as desktops provided by the school. There are so many ways that learning how to research on the web is beneficial and if you can find a way to encourage sensible, self-led research then so much the better.