The Styling Librarian

In my opinion, books are the best accessory.

Styling Librarian: Library Design Reflection

Graphic novels and art paper...

Graphic novels and art paper…

Recently, some classes at my school have been investigating the use of public space. The topic of library planning and design came up. Students browsed through the library, discussed how it different areas were used, and then interviewed our principal about how she decided that the library would become such. It was interesting to hear how the committee was formed a number of years ago, how a former office space for the school foundation was revisioned into a gorgeous library that I was able to move into, and how the plans were worked out between administration, architects, school designers, and library designers.

Audiobook listening in the morning... nice to have a little relaxation.

Audiobook listening in the morning… nice to have a little relaxation.

Library design, how will the library be used?  Snuggly corners, color choice, research space, technology instruction space, professional meetings, private work space, clearly identified sections, language books area, project room, library office, multiple copy compactor, reference area, tech storage, toilet, checkout area, how large?… it can be quite the overwhelming task to vision a library and work out minute details. I’ve watched several colleagues this year work on their library plans with designers and architects, I’m excited to see how their libraries turn out after the hundreds of hours they’ve put into planning them! Quite exciting stages throughout!

Here were a few resources I found interesting about library design:

Loved this library design post:
http://www.slj.com/2011/03/buildings-design/divine-design-how-to-create-the-21st-century-school-library-of-your-dreams/

http://flavorwire.com/392753/the-20-most-beautiful-libraries-on-film-and-tv/view-all

Check out this new library – Learning Garden:
http://www.lib.cuhk.edu.hk/learning_garden/lg.html

DEMCO recently put out a free ebook on library design, I thought it was interesting.
http://www.designinglibraries.org.uk/documents/Demco_library_design_furnishing.pdf
Our graphic novel area, rarely full but now with most of books returned starting to feel a little more packed!

Our graphic novel area, rarely full but now with most of books returned starting to feel a little more packed!

A designer who was a major part of too many library design projects to count is Kevin Hennah, he shares his ideas in a few books and additionally on this page:

http://www.kevinhennah.com.au

I enjoyed attending one of his workshops in Fall ’12, found it quite informative and inspiring in regards to his opinions on weeding, displays, collections, and signage. I felt quite inspired to develop different areas of my new library further based on his ideas and found very positive responses to those efforts. I was lucky to have a principal who provided me with the chance to add to the design a year after the library creation was complete.

IMG_5386This helped me look at the flow of books, ease of access to books, how children used the library, where space was wasted, where books were a little too crowded, and what needed to be developed. It was quite the undertaking that I think could continue for a few years but overall, I just love working in the space I’m in. I enjoy having a few flat screen tv’s in different areas of the library leads me to create videos with book trailer compilations for older and younger viewers. I am investigating sturdier iPad holders since students borrow and use iPads at lunch times in addition to borrowing them other times during the day. There are some very creative video creators who could benefit from some creative iPad stands. Incorporating technology into the library is essential for maintaining up-to-date information. Also, we have six PC library search stations in the library for students to use, two being touch screens that students have quickly adapted to and enjoyed using.

IMG_5387I also enjoyed getting a friendly rug for the picture book area and developing an early chapter book area for my students who were ready to select books on their own instead of just having classroom readers. I also loved working on displays in the front windows and on columns through the year in addition to the other projects, added a personal touch that the students use for inspiration. Also, adding in some shelves to the professional collection led me to weed and simultaneously expand the professional books.

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