Creating an inviting area to read and study

Posted on: 23 October 2015


The purpose of libraries is changing from less of a silent and strict environment, to a more relaxing environment that invites people get comfortable and sit down for a while. If you are looking to remodel your library to make it more inviting, then keep reading.

Create zones for different purposes

Rather than setting all the library up in the same way, choose different set of furniture in different areas to create zones according to purpose. Wrap around walled desks can create an excellent space for quiet study and reading, while book clubs might enjoy a larger table or a series of couches and low tables to create a more relaxed environment. Casual readers often enjoy lower, more comfy armed chairs to spend some long periods reading in. Teen zones for magazine reading, lounging and relaxing often suit large, easy-to-clean floor cushions and comfy bean bags.

Use coloured furniture to show the difference between the zones, such as blues for silent study, greens for low chatter/quiet talk and reds for collaboration zones where noise is allowed.

Flexibility for technology

While libraries are becoming increasingly tech focused, it's best to avoid being too prescriptive with mounting devices or charging pods. The rapid progression of technology and tendency toward mobile devices means that today's mounting board or charging point may not be useful when the new generation of devices comes out.

Equally, while it's important to have some devices in the library for people who don't have access to the internet or computers, it's also a great idea to have some plug and play stations where people can bring their laptop and simply use the internet connection and a keyboard or monitor.

Use bright and interesting decorative motifs

When deciding on the furniture, make the area inviting with bright tones. In order to involve the local area, you can have a community mural or decals on the chairs based on a public competition. If you can involve the community in customising the furniture, you are less likely to have issues with furniture getting graffitied or otherwise damaged.

Furnishings have a large role to play in how warm and inviting library spaces can seem. By making the space seem great for all of your users, it will retain its important role in helping all members of society access important information. Why not see what new library furniture could do to brighten up your library?