It’s no secret that libraries have been part of the collateral damage caused by the technological revolution of this century.
The move from silent reading in libraries to the space becoming a cultural, learning and hi-tech hub has been rapid.
It is now a choice for libraries in the direction they wish to pursue in reinventing their space; continuing with its traditional uses or taking on some of our best tips to redesigning their layout and functionalities.
Where do all the books go?
So far, the article has focussed on the monumental shift that libraries have been taking away from books.
School kids are no longer referred there to do their homework or borrow a book, with the internet making all those tasks a lot easier.
However, that doesn’t mean books should be eliminated from the equation.
Research still indicates that libraries are a key space for creating and nurturing an individual’s love of books and reading. Not only that but some areas of research are only available in books, including the law and history.
Libraries in the modern era need to balance their requirements for book space with the other hubs in the area.
That’s where Keylar Shelving comes in if you have been wondering.
Our library shelving has been specifically designed to provide optimal storage for books and other library materials. On top of that, our system can be used for virtually any other reference material.
The design of our shelving is guaranteed to provide the most effective use of the limited space libraries have for books, with the vertical shelf being adjustable. That means for books that are shorter; the shelves can be brought down and then accommodate more space for the larger books.
Ultimately, it isn’t just about getting rid of the books in libraries but more effectively using space through shelving.
Room for learning and working spaces
Thanks to David D Thornburg, a whole bunch of creative metaphors are now used to describe the various mini-hubs within a library.
There is the campfire, which is a communal place to learn and tell stories, the cave for individual study and quiet reading, or the genius bar for all tech-related services and items.
While not every library can house all these different metaphorical spaces, it is imperative they do maximise the areas they do have and the increase the functionality.
One of our recommendations is to have plenty of storage available in individual and group environments. For the so-called caves or personal study areas, a small amount of wall strip shelving near users will open up the already limited desk space. Common complaints by library users include that there is not enough space for a person to put their laptop, books, any stationary and paper, plus all their belongings. A great technique is not necessarily to make their desks twice the size, but use wall shelving to provide them more space and storage.
In the campfire/communal areas, it is ideal to make it as comfortable and open as possible. Whether it be through lounges, bean bags, or ottomans, libraries are shaking things up to create dynamic and engaging centres to connect.
While people may no longer need librarians to search endlessly for one book, it doesn’t make their services redundant.
Research from USC Marshall found that many individuals are seeking more educational help regarding research and technology use.
When libraries provide comprehensive online databases, with a few minutes of help from an employee, they can be easily navigated and are far more valuable than something you can find on the first page of Google.
In contrast, for those who are struggling with the technological uptake, libraries are often the first point of call to receive help. Members of the public who aren’t sure on using the new iPad or getting an eBook, they can go straight to libraries either for provided tutorials or get a helping hand from the librarians there.
Multi-media is a must
Collaboration, creation and curiosity have all become pillars of the library learning environment.
To service that, the appropriate technologies and facilities must be provided. Many centres start with a number of computers ready to be used, but that offering can be dramatically improved.
Having iPads, Skype areas, charging stations, large screen TVs are the cutting edge of technology and should be eagerly embraced.
On top of that, some have even gone as far to provide 3D printers as a radical point of difference not just from any other library, but any other resources available.
The era we are living in has seen the exciting commitment to various technologies and spaces, and libraries must move with it to stay relevant.
With new services and products constantly coming along, it is important that libraries make the most effective use of their space to always having room for growth.
That means storing all books in their optimal space, giving users more places to keep their items and work, and creating flexible and comfortable environments to lead the pack.
For more information on how we can revolutionise your space, get in touch with Keylar Shelving today.