Our team has a wide breadth of experience and understands the complex needs of planning and designing community-centric spaces. We understand that libraries are not a “one-size-fits-all” solution and that in order to be successful, libraries must cater to the unique needs of the community or campus in which they serve.
The shift from libraries being places where books are stored to being places where learning occurs – in all its many forms – has been seismic. Today’s savvy users expect more than the basics; they expect an exceptional, customer-centric experience. With more options of places to spend free time, libraries have to live up to expectations and standards set by the private sector. As a result, libraries all over the country are introducing new programs and services to execute strategic goals that positively impact the customer’s experience. No longer just a place to store books and host transactions, libraries have transitioned to community destinations that encourage patrons to connect, create, and discover.
In order for libraries to be more community based and less place based, it is imperative to design spaces that can be quickly and easily adapted by patrons and staff. This often means that design solutions are less permanent and more flexible with furniture based solutions. We can help “future proof” your building to be adaptable for future technology advancements and user needs. This can be done in a multitude of ways, a few examples including raised access flooring, demountable walls, movable partitions, simple curtain solutions, and lightweight mobile furniture that can be stored seamlessly.
In order to free up real estate for community centric spaces, it is imperative to be strategic with your collection shelving and display. We can help you design shelving that strives to increase circulation numbers, reducing the overall floor space needed for shelving. We have several design variables that we explore during our collection planning process, including shelving height, aisle spacing, collection growth and/or reduction, and retail based display techniques. We most recently went through a collection planning process with the Crete Public Library in Crete, Nebraska. Since opening in 2020, circulation numbers have increased by 42% despite the challenges associated with the global pandemic.
Libraries should be a comfortable, safe space for all patrons and staff. There are many design considerations to achieve human comfort, including thermal, acoustical, visual, and ergonomic. We believe thoughtful architecture and furniture design will help excel your facility and library services. This includes intentional space planning for quiet and collaborative zones, strategic furniture and collection planning with lower shelves and maximized sight lines, diverse furniture options to accommodate multiple generations and abilities, and varying sizes and levels of privacy in enclosed meeting and study rooms.