How often have you gone into a library that felt more like a torture chamber than a place to gain and share knowledge? Yet, these days, a lot has changed as to the overall look of the library. The development over the years have made libraries a lot more useful to the public. The functionality of these libraries have a lot to do with their effective layouts.
What Makes a Library Worth Remembering?
The ambience or atmosphere; the placement of the signage; safety; accessibility; and highlighting the collections are all aspects that contribute to the beauty and functionality of the library.
Whether the library is to be placed in a new building or a remodeled structure, the focus should be on one thing – and this is to emphasize the importance of the customer or patron.
Creativity matters a lot if you want to build a refuge for knowledge. Here are the basics of creating the library layout –
The Ambience and the Customers’ Changing Needs
Libraries have a need for revolutionary changes if they ever want to meet the needs of their patrons. Just look at bookstores – their layouts are created in such a way that invites customers in.
Sure, different libraries that service varying communities may have specific needs, but a lot of the fundamental aspects of library layouts are applicable to all such as the color of paint used, acoustics, furniture, lighting, and even food and beverage services (if these are offered).
Color is a leading issue in many libraries, hence, you may have observed that most walls are just painted with neutral shades. These are lifeless colors yet those who designed the libraries of the past thought that neutral colors are the only hues that can make anything work.
Remember that colors have a profound psychological effect on humans so you have to use them with care. Depending on the library area that needs to be painted, the color scheme may be adjusted accordingly.
For instance, if you want your library to have a warmer and more inviting feel, then paint it red or yellow. Northern libraries would do well to have these as wall paint.
As to the prints and patterns, take time to consider them as they have a tendency to distract the readers. On the other hand, if you want to reduce eye strain due to computer use or book reading, then you have to consider the placement of lights.
Libraries with more natural light sources are great especially in sunny locales. For states with colder temperature, ask your interior designer about the indoor lighting system that would work best with your given setting. Fluorescent lighting especially those that are installed on high ceilings tend to cause headaches among customers. It is better to use table lamps for a more focused reading experience.
The key here is to be able to provide a lot more than those dreary, white surroundings which you bore during your college years. As to the acoustics, it is a known fact that libraries are supposed to be a quiet place but, these days, the inclusion of a café is already an acceptable practice.
So apart from the conveniently-spaced laptop outlets, there must also be some couches or comfy chairs where you can read while enjoying a mug of hot choco. In choosing furniture, it is always important to consider the desires of the customers. They are, after all, the ones that are going to use the units as they spend hours in the library. For older persons, a high-seated chair may be necessary while a student can make do with a plush chair. Other furniture that may be considered are desks, shelves (but of course), and counters. So, are you ready to have a whole new experience in a modern library?
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