School library design can improve education

An opinion piece from Singapore on the observation of student behaviour in the library and why we need to put the student at the centre of library design.

20 April 2016

Loh Chin Ee is assistant professor in the English Language and Literature Academic Group at the National Institute of Education. The writer offers a number of points about the effectiveness of good design in the school library, pointing out that solutions do not always require major renovation or expense. 

The opinion piece gives a public library example of a successful space designed for teens. 'Taking the cue from the retail sector, the library has its books displayed front-facing to inspire teens to take them from the shelves and the shelves are aligned to consumer heights to allow library users to reach all books. A doodle wall facilitates collaborative discussions, a mezzanine space legitimises "hanging out" and cosy corners allow quiet reading. Marketing principles applied to library design help make reading "cool" and permission to be (somewhat) noisy makes the library a more "homely" place for teens. Today, a teenage team organises programmes that appeal to other teens.'

 

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