Many consider the school library to be the heart of the school, and it’s easy to see why. A place of learning for students and staff from all departments and year groups, the school library can provide a comfortable, nurturing space in which students can connect, collaborate and learn. Designed with flexibility in mind, the school library can become a central hub of the school community with the right combination of traditional library infrastructure and modern e-learning equipment.
Here’s some areas to consider when thinking about the design concepts of your new library:
The physical layout of the space and furniture is going to set the scene for the functionality of the library. Initially, decide on the main focus of the area when a student enters. Do they walk into the library and become engulfed with shelves of books and desks, or are they encouraged to take a journey through various themed areas of the room, offering a mixture of display units containing books and publications, and more modern areas containing the latest technology with different seating options. Whether the focus is on books or media, choosing the correct furniture will help to set the theme.
Once you’ve decided on the desired focus, it’s time to select an overall tone for the library. Dark, heavy wooden furniture will create a different look from bright or neutral colored cushioned chairs and benches. Ambic offer a wide range of colours and finishes for all their products including library shelving, cupboards, display units, mobile IT units etc. We either match existing colour schemes / styles for smaller installations or create a beautiful unique new look for your refurbished library that will become a source of pride for students and staff alike.
One of the most critical aspects of your library furniture is the functionality that it offers. Having furniture that is adaptable to the needs of each individual student is essential and the flexibility of mobile units opens up new opportunities. Learning models are changing, and school libraries can take the lead in this. In many schools, collaborative and project-based learning are popular, as well as peer-to-peer tutoring and one-on-one learning. Classrooms are moving away from a “front of the room” mentality and adapting to students’ learning styles. Libraries need to embrace the same ideas and adapt to reflect the way students prefer to learn. Flexibility is vital and with traditional library furniture often being cumbersome, this makes multiple configurations impossible. Innovative shelving and display units can greatly improve the presentation of reading material drawing the attention of students to the desired area while a variety of different seating styles and areas can complement the function of specific areas within the library.
Finally, with the evolving nature of libraries into fully fledged media centers, take advantage of your new refurbishment to install ample connectivity points, whether it be multi-outlet power sources, wi-fi or networked connections, integrated charging points and other multimedia display equipment to support your new installation and ensure it provides enough options for the future evolution of the school library.
While all these considerations can be a little overwhelming, at Ambic we can offer you our expertise right at the start of the process during the consultation phase of the project. Tell us what you want from your new installation and we’ll come up with some innovative ideas, produce detailed designs and specification and create the look you want using the highest quality materials.
We’re with you all the way from initial concept, design, manufacture and installation and we can also be a one-stop shop for the other non-furniture parts of your installation such as supplying and fitting fire-rated doorsets and ceilings.
So if you want to show a little love to the heart of your school or university, get in touch with the team at Ambic and let us create the learning environment your students and staff deserve.