“A library outranks any other one thing a community can do to benefit its people. It is a never-failing spring in the desert.” – Andrew Carnegie

Today, libraries are so much more than a place to house books. With educational programs, classes and community events, libraries have become the community hub and provide benefits in countless ways as they are a central meeting place for learning, research and collaboration.

Over the years, our experience has seen an evolution in library design to adapt to accommodate this change in function. This includes creation of new spaces (for teens, youth and adults) as well as creative ways to address learning styles and meet culture trends.

 

How libraries have changed

A hub for gathering

Libraries have become the central point or hub for individuals, groups and communities. Group collaborative spaces allow for group studying, presentation preparation and even socializing and include conference rooms, study rooms, and small lecture halls. Technology is a large draw to libraries and high bandwidth internet speed is critical. Plus, some libraries offer art gallery space, providing an additional venue for community learning and connection. As a result, people spend more time at the library, resulting in a need for small cafes or coffee shops to be included within the floorplans.

Different spaces for different learning styles

Everyone has different preferences when it comes to learning. Some people enjoy having private quiet space for focusing while others prefer to sit at tables so they can interact with friends. Libraries are incorporating varying settings for all different styles of learning including nooks and booths, modular tables, and even lounge areas with couches. Within each of these spaces, understanding how technology may be utilized is key, which helps visitors stay comfortable throughout their day as their needs and tasks fluctuate.

Library design trends

As culture constantly evolves, libraries have worked hard to stay current with design trends. As more people are moving towards standing desks, many libraries have incorporated them into their workspaces. Most people usually have three or more electronic devices with them, requiring constant access to charging stations. Libraries have had to find unique ways to incorporate outlets into furniture, tables, and floors to accommodate their visitors. Mobile furniture is also a trend among libraries; movable wall dividers and interlocking chairs and couches give visitors the ability to create the unique type of space they need.

 

Mowery library construction project round-up

Wilson College John Stewart Memorial Library features an art gallery, varying seating arrangements, and is a central space for relaxing and studying.

SU Library

Susquehanna University Blough-Weis Library includes ample natural light and an integrated cafe making it the go-to spot on campus for gatherings.

Bosler Memorial Library was a design-build project that focused on improving the children’s area to double the space for young library users.

Red Land Community Library was recently relocated to a newly renovated space that that includes large skylights for natural light.

Though technology has created the ability for us to find any information in mere seconds, the use of libraries is still as strong as ever. Whether your library is in the heart of your community or at the center of your campus, Mowery can help with your next library renovation or build.  Reach out today to learn more.