Many school libraries have begun to undergo big changes in design and appearance. Some schools are eschewing the traditional wooden shelves, rigid desks, and cubicles in favor of more modern amenities, layouts, and pieces of furniture. When redesigning a library, there are many things to consider. As with any interior design project, you must think about the purpose of the space, the audience, and (of course) your budget. In addition to those three things, library design has its own unique hurdles and considerations. Here are three things to consider when updating your school’s library design.
In keeping with modern classroom design trends, spaces within the modern library must be multifunctional. School and library furniture manufacturers are using a few different strategies to create pieces that meet the needs of modern students, teachers, and administrators. One such strategy is to create pieces that can be easily moved. Rather than using solid wood to create heavy and unwieldy desks and chairs, today’s library furniture is designed to move and be moved by students and teachers. The second strategy that furniture designers are using is to make furniture that can serve multiple purposes. Mobile whiteboards serve as a space for communicating and thinking while also creating barriers between workspaces. Chairs, desks, and more are being outfitted with electrical outlets and USB ports to provide more workable space for laptops and monitors.
Today’s educators are striving to bring accessibility into the classroom in every sense of the word. Part of this is making sure that students with special needs have the accommodations that they require, and part of this is making the outside world and all of its knowledge available to students within the confines of the school. To this end, library design is increasingly featuring modular design components that can be rolled (which are more friendly to wheelchair users, who can more openly collaborate with peers with newer designs), more spaces for monitors (which help those with low vision or who are hard of hearing), and outlets in many pieces of furniture. Not only does making library spaces more tech-friendly allow students to explore the infinite resources online, but it also gives students with disabilities the resources they need to charge and use their assistive technology devices.
Even the most groundbreaking advances in library design are pointless if they are too uncomfortable to use. Making spaces that students and educators want to use is a huge part of the battle to update school libraries. School furniture manufacturers are placing more emphasis on furniture comfort and aesthetics than in previous years, and for good reason. When students are comfortable and want to be in the library, they can end up spending more time there. In the end, regardless of their design opinions, school administrators and educators can all support increased library use.
Choose Edwards & Hill for Your Library Furniture and Design Needs
Are you ready to redesign your library to maximize productivity and creative thinking? Edwards & Hill can help you design and install the perfect designs for your school. Edwards & Hill is a leading office, education, medical, and hospitality furniture provider with the high-quality design and installation services for any style or scale. If you are ready to get your office design started, contact us online or give us a call at 301-317-4250. For more furniture design tips, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Flickr, and YouTube.
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