- Training rooms in libraries
- Refurbishment for the University of Salford library
- A collective living room
- The Connect Experience
- Wandsworth's libraries - bigger and better
- Shelving and storage at University of Birmingham
- Designing libraries in the 21st century
- Heritage preserved in Dartford Library
- Library and campus for Malawi
- Winning designs for Shanghai's city library
- The Hive and Heritage Quay are winning libraries
- Inside the Design Library
- Libraries are the new tourist attractions
- A wider choice for self-service and book-sorting solutions
- Designing the Dubai British School
- Under one (or another) umbrella
- A modernist refurbishment
- The Word - design thinking for our time
- A green branch for Toronto Public Library
- A design-led study hub for Magdalen
- University of Birmingham's £44 million new library
- Transforming the Bodleian's Weston Library
- The Curve opens in Slough
- The future of library services
- Library and gallery for Haverfordwest
- A library for social connection and creative discovery
- Wandsworth's libraries after outsourcing
- Libraries feature in RIBA awards
- University of Glasgow library refurbishment complete
- Unique infill project for the National Library of Wales
- An integrated portfolio of products
- The microlibrary made from ice cream buckets
- Crewe's £15m Lifestyle Centre creates waves
- Reshaping the future library
- Consultants appointed to design County Library
- An eye for China
- Next phase for Reading underway
- Modernisation at Ebbw Vale Library
- Hebburn Central a success
- An innovative library space for kids
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Designing libraries in the 21st century: lessons for the UK
This important new report by Gemma John is a study of new libraries across Europe and North America and what design means for both user and staff behaviour.
20 January 2017
The ramp at Dokk1, Aarhus
The report provides an overview of how design is being used as a tool to enhance the experience of customers and change the behaviour of staff in public libraries in twelve locations across five countries in two international contexts.
It suggests that the most successful designs are those that are the simplest – open plan with good visibility across the floorplate and excellent connectivity - allowing staff and customers greater freedom to change the form and function of the public library over time. Yet, the simplest designs are not always the easiest to achieve, since open plan floors are often noisy, and flexibility involves careful planning.
This report, then, provides critical insight into the key challenges and opportunities for library and architecture professionals today. It offers in-depth feedback on the design of public libraries in the Netherlands, Finland, Denmark, USA and Canada. It shares the views of staff and customers on the current and future design of public libraries in these countries.
In so doing, it responds to the call from librarians for more ‘data’ on how people interact with library services and spaces, and also the call from architects and interior designers for more information on the relationship between people and buildings. How can librarians and architects work together to gain a better understanding of how people shape buildings and how do buildings shape people to ensure that the public library is still as relevant tomorrow as it is today?
Robots on the ramp at Dokk1
About Gemma John
Gemma John is a design researcher at Foster Partners. Gemma has a background in social anthropology. The study is a result of a travelling fellowship awarded by the Winston Churchill Memorial Fund.
To read the full report, and to access more information and case studies on Gemma's blog, follow the links on the right of this page.
- Designing Libraries in the 21st Century: Lessons for the UK
- Download the full report.
- pdf (6,120.29kb)
- This page can be found in the following news feeds:
- Designing Libraries