Wednesday, July 10, 2013

10 Steps to a Better Library Interior

This session gave me a lot of great ideas, not just for our lobby redesign, but for the whole building!  Here are some of the ideas I took away.  My thoughts about what I learned are in parentheses.

  1. First impressions matter.  Take a step back and see your space with your customers' eyes.  (We've talked about having people who have never been in our building walk through it and give their impressions.)
  2. Pretend everything is emptied from your building.  What would you put back?
  3. Avoid mismatched signage, colors, etc.  Don't camouflage by making everything exciting and colorful: pick one or two things to highlight.
  4. UNCLUTTER desktops!  Creating a sign to avoid repeated interactions is not good:  we WANT interactions.  (We're guilty of cluttered desktops!)
  5. Use zoning to help your patrons understand the purpose of a space.  Only put comfortable lounge seating in areas where you want them to gather and chat, NOT in quiet spaces.  (Should we remove the lounge seating in the 2nd floor bay window to discourage congregating?) 
  6. Lighting is very important to how we perceive space.
  7. Careful reorientation or lowering the height of stacks can help people move through the space and see the boundaries.  (Would shorter new book shelving in our lobby help make the area feel larger?)
  8. Remove walls and fill with glass, or use half walls, with or without glass above.  Tall walls prevent people from seeing that there is another department available to them.  (Maybe we should do this with the wall between the lobby and Youth Services?  Wall on bottom half and glass on top, for a sound barrier?)
Slides from the session are available here:  Scroll to the comments section for the link to slides.

I'd love to hear your thoughts on some of these ideas.  Post them in the comments!


1 comment:

  1. Jeannie, I really love the idea of having people who have never been in our building before coming in and giving us their first impressions. I am even more interested in what they have to say if they are NOT library people.