Libraries used to have it easy, they were places full of lovely books that people had to be very quiet in. They were places for reading, for quiet working or contemplation and for finding the information you needed that is only contained within that one book.
And then came the internet, and Wikipedia, and suddenly libraries were not needed in the same way! However instead of becoming redundant Libraries have reinvented themselves to fit in with the modern world and a Library will now will full-fill a number of requirements.
Here are our top tips for creating a multi functional library.
- A library wouldn’t be a library without books! Many libraries have changed the mix of available titles to include more titles for entertainment, including novels, DVDs and magazines. But reference books are still useful for specialist subjects in university or school libraries. Because the number of books has largely reduced, this means the display of the books can become more creative. The BookWorm not only provides space for books, but also acts as a curved space divider and creates quiet working zones for groups.
- Libraries are places where students come to work and concentrate. Desk systems with acoustic panelling help to aid noise control from other areas of the library. Access to power is key for those bringing their laptops and as well as integrating power into the desks, the PowerHub can also be useful for providing power without the need for floor boxes.
- Once quiet spaces, libraries now need to support collaborative working between students. Collaborative tables allow students to bring laptops and share work and ideas to the central screens. Careful zoning and acoustic management is needed to manage the noise flow between the collaborative and quiet working zones.
- Soft seating is perfect for quiet reading zones. Comfy sofas or chairs are perfect areas to curl up with a book. Booth seats can also be used to give acoustically controlled collaborative spaces. Soft seating should be easy to move around giving the students the flexibility to sit individually or in groups.
- Computers are still in high demand from students wanting to be able to log on and work, without having their own laptop. It’s difficult to manage BYOD and provided computers in one space. Integrated desks, such as the P1 or M1 give you the best of both worlds. Providing a computer for use when needed, but also allowing you to hide the computers away to provide a clear tabletop for BYOD laptop use.