Gone are the days when school libraries were used only for storing and reading books. The changing landscape of libraries is facilitated by ever-changing technologies that have also enforced change in how these spaces operate.
The transition from book-centric to student-centric libraries was a change that was destined to happen. While this has been easy to implement in big schools, smaller institutions with limited space and budgets face several challenges to make changes in their existing libraries.
Old libraries were revamped, or new libraries were built to cater to the demands of today’s education and the latest generation of students. New libraries offer a choice of the latest books, install better library furniture, offer internet facilities, and adopt new layouts.
Your school library should be a haven for students who want to read, explore, refer and be inspired. Here are some expert tips and guidelines to build the library that you have envisioned for your school.
Upgrade your books and technology paraphernalia
By “upgrade”, we do not mean hoarding more books. Yes, it is common for everyone to expect a well-stocked library. But the key to having such a library is to be realistic. Some schools firmly believe in stocking fewer books that are well-displayed than having thousands of them in tattered conditions.
Your school library must have a good combination of books in the following categories:
- Graphic novels.
- Picture books.
- Guided or banded books.
Practicality is another aspect that is often forgotten when books are displayed or stacked in school libraries. A student-centric library will implement the following tips:
- Neat stacking with spine-out displays allows everyone to choose and take only the book that they require.
- Independent reading hubs should not occupy too much space within the library.
- Stack books in such a way that allows easy access for teachers and students.
Raise the comfort quotient with smart library furniture
The type of library furniture you choose sets the tone for your library. And remember, just because it is library furniture, it doesn’t have to be dull and monotonous in appearance or hard and uncomfortable in design. Ergonomic, elegant, and lively furniture encourages patrons to visit as often, and they spend more time in the library.
Unlike the classroom and lab, modern school libraries allow diversity in the furniture. There are no longer hard and fast rules to use only tables and chairs. Sofas, cushioned chairs, and lounge chairs have also found their way into school libraries to make the place welcoming for visiting guests and parents too.
Enhance the library interiors
Why go for the same old white walls when you can add a splash of colour and brighten up the place. The walls are not the only place where you can show your creativity. Try to implement innovative ideas of style and colour in the furniture, bookshelves, and floor.
Adorn the library walls with colourful, informative posters. Add a bit of greenery with indoor potted plants. Ensure that you choose objects that are durable and will last for years to come. Even if they are a tad bit expensive, the durability should be worth the investment.
Implement flexible layouts
Traditional library layouts will never be a success in modern school libraries. No matter how spacious or small your library is, do not go for stagnant furniture layouts that are outdated and boring. Infuse flexibility into the place with creative and optimised use of space. Create small pods, breakout zones, individual study areas, space for collaborative study and separate spaces for relaxed reading or technology usage.
If you are bestowed with a large library, the options for flexibility are endless. You can demarcate zones with colours, different furniture, decor and choice of flooring.
Embrace technology with tradition
School libraries need to adapt to changing learning and teaching methods. Technology has taken centre space in education, and you do not want your library to lack facilities that support technology-based learning.
Your school library must have a Wi-fi network that is fast and reliable. A few computer terminals with the necessary tech paraphernalia such as printers and scanners will prove beneficial for the staff and students.
Building libraries that adapt to the changing times
As the trends and styles keep changing with future generations, libraries will have to be designed to cater to popular trends. Hence, it is important to choose and invest wisely. Your long-term plans must include the library furniture, furnishings, maintenance and replacement plans.
Inspace: Providing innovative library furniture for schools in Chennai
To guide you with the kind of library furniture you must invest in, you need an expert manufacturer like Inspace, Chennai, to guide you with the right expertise. Inspace conceives and creates customised furniture for libraries for multiple educational institutions across Chennai and other states. Get in touch with us today to get a quote.