Libraries have special design concerns few other facilities have. Not only must there be the right storage space for books and materials, but you also have to consider the needs of the patrons and the librarians as well. Balancing all of it, whether you’re planning for a new library or renovating an older one, can be difficult, but here are a few tips that may help. library design, Carroll Seating

  • Include Enough Seating Space: If you’re designing a public library, you need to go with at least five seats for every 1,000 people within the service area. If you’re talking about a school library, that number will rely on class sizes. Keep in mind that those numbers shouldn’t include the seating you have in meeting rooms. 
  • Don’t Forget About ADA Accessibility: Seating options, meeting rooms, bathrooms, and even your computer workstations must be wheelchair accessible. You may also want to have other accommodations like computer stations designed for the visually impaired and more so you can serve the needs of your entire population. 
  • Electronic Workstations Play Into Design: Don’t forget that you’re going to need plenty of computer workstations throughout your library. Whether to meet online research needs or card catalog demands, electronic workstations should be readily available to all of your patrons. 
  • Consider the Purpose: Nearly every library in the country has a core of patrons with a different purpose. For example, perhaps it’s research at your library. Maybe it’s current topics and titles. The purpose difference means everything to the design of your library. If you’re talking about research, you’ll want lots of table space, as patrons will not only spread out a bit, but they’ll be spending long hours there, too. If it’s the best seller crowd, create a warm, inviting atmosphere. Go for fewer, yet more comfortable seats, maybe even a fireplace, and good lighting. 
  • Don’t Forget about the Staff: If you’re redesigning or building new, offer the staff a few perks, too. There are lots of great features you can build into the new design that may prove useful. Factor in your volunteer staff, or those temporary staff members you add during the busy season, to this equation too. You may even want to add in  dedicated kitchen or break area seating just for your staff members. It may be a nice perk to which they hadn’t previously had access.

Designing the ideal library can be complicated, but there are lots of ways to create a fantastic look that patrons will love.