Tips for Improving Your Library’s Interior

In a presentation at this year’s ALA annual conference, Nancye Browning, Assistant Director of the Louisville (Ky.) Free Library, and Traci Lesneski of the architectural firm Meyer Scherer & Rockcastle Ltd. highlighted the importance of user expectations and the functionality and usability of the space when considering the interior spaces within the library. How easy is it to navigate the stacks? Can users easily find what they’re looking for? Do people expect comfortable chairs? A cafe? Space for conversation and meetings? You can read a program attendee’s summary of these experts’ advice, “10 Steps to a Better Library Interior” on the American Libraries magazine blog. A more detailed discussion of how to improve your library’s interior, authored by Ms. Lesneski, was featured in Library Journal’s Fall 2011 Library Design supplement. Here’s a quick rundown of the 10 steps:

  1. See with your customer’s eyes
  2. Remove barriers
  3. Use less for more impact
  4. Unclutter
  5. Consider the whole
  6. Support how humans use space
  7. Zone your interior
  8. Create a variety of experiences
  9. Light to shape space
  10. Embrace color

There is a wealth of great advice in this article on how to arrange or rearrange your library to best support your users’ activities, needs and expectations. Check out the full article online here.


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