We all know that libraries can be a real hub for your community, school or university – providing people of all ages with a space to come and enjoy. So how can you optimise library furniture and what are some of the things to consider when choosing the right library furniture for your space?
1. How does the space need to work?
Think about the space that the library is located in and how this space needs to work. You’ll want to consider whether the furniture needs to accommodate groups of people interacting with one another, or people working individually.
Maybe the library should be adaptable and able to accommodate different setups of people, consider whether it hosts regular workshops or group sessions or is mainly used by people working solo.
Considering how the space needs to work will help to focus your attention on choosing the best library furniture for your individual space.
2. Who will be using the library?
Who you know or expect to use the library can really help you to figure out how to choose the right library furniture.
You’ll want to consider the following variables when it comes to thinking about your key library users:
- Age of users – whether they’re young children, elderly people or a mixture of all ages
- Frequency of users – is this somewhere people will visit daily, or only once a month
- Needs of users – will there be special needs that you should consider when installing library furniture
- Accessibility – it’s likely you’ll want your library furniture to be accessible to all wherever possible.
3. How will the furniture fit best in the space available?
Thinking about the right type of furniture for your space and even buying the best library furniture on the market actually doesn’t help if it doesn’t work with your space.
You need to think about the two in tandem – consider how the furniture you want can best fit into the space available in your library. Whether it’s a modern building with even walls and corners, or it’s an old space with uneven measurements, you need to consider how to make the furniture fit best for you.
Consider carefully how items of library furniture can function well best within your space and how they can adapt to work with the surroundings.
4. What is the aim of the overall style and appearance of the library?
Every library is different – there are thousands of library spaces around the world and all with their own identity.
When it comes to choosing your library furniture, you should think about the library itself and the atmosphere that you want to create. Consider what you are aiming for in terms of the overall style and appearance of the library and try to find library furniture that works alongside this.
You want consider:
- Fabrics and Materials
5. What sort of durability does the furniture need to offer?
It’s highly likely that your library is used by people of all ages and this can often mean that it’s subjected to a fair amount of wear and tear.
Young children, teenagers and even adults can be pretty messy and it’ll be useful to have library furniture that withstands constant use. Whether you decide on fabrics in darker colours which don’t show stains, or you opt for plastic chairs which can be easily wiped clean and kept looking new – think carefully about how durable the furniture in your library will be.
The longer you take to invest in the durability of your library furniture, the more you can see this as an investment that your community can enjoy for years to come.