Whether you are simply planning on buying some new supplies for a school library, or you want to undergo a complete renovation to provide your pupils with the best facilities possible, renovating a library can be a long and arduous process if not done properly. By doing your research before the project has started and making sure that you have everything you need, you can save a lot of time, effort and money in getting everything ready in advance.
As with any renovation project, you will need to make sure that you have the right budget and permissions for what you want to achieve. However, once that is out of the way and you are well into the planning and implementing stage, the fun can begin. We take a look at a list of the essentials for kitting out your new library.
Bean Bags and Other Seating Arrangements
Seating arrangements that can be comfortable or functional depending on the atmosphere you want to purvey are an important part of any educational space. You can choose colourful bean bags and squishy chairs for young children and college students doing independent studies, or swivel chairs and computer chairs for computer areas. Hard backed chairs are ideal for general reading areas, homework areas and group work areas. Make sure you put a little thought into what type of seating you want where, in order to provide the best possible facilities for your library environment.
Multimedia Display Cabinets
While DVD’s and CD’s are less common in educational settings, they can still be extremely useful forms of media and learning. Libraries are a great way of providing helpful research and essay materials in many formats and offering audio books as an option makes an inclusive choice for students who are dyslexic or have trouble making out words. They can also be used to display the latest book of choice, or potential good research material for GCSE and A Level students, so display cabinets are ideal for any refurbishment.
Ideal for those returning borrowed books, book caddies are an essential part of any new library checklist. Book caddies come in a variety of sizes, materials and colours so it is often easy to pick out one that is best suited to the style and size of your library. Book caddies are also good for putting books back where needed, lightening the load for your in-house librarians and volunteers.
Plug Sockets & Other Necessary Equipment
Not just for lamps and lights, plus sockets are a great ideas for those who have their own laptop for independent study, and need a place to sit without fear of their laptop dying on them. You can easily place an abundance of sockets near computer areas in order to help prevent those from charging their phones, as well as keeping the plugs in plain sight so as not to tempt any students looking at getting free electricity for their phones or other portable devices.
Lighting and Heating Solutions
Necessity but often forgotten. Libraries need to be comfortable, well heated and well illuminated. Think about your seating situations and distribute the lights accordingly. You will also want to make sure that there is adequate heating without making the library stuffy or humid.
What would a library be without any books? While you may already have a steady supply of books from the library already, now might be a good opportunity to replenish your stocks and see whether or not any new books need replacing or ordering. It will do your library good to have a whole new selection upon the grand re-opening, so why not order a few new series in?
So there you have it, a small but essential checklist for making sure your library has everything needed to make it the best library for learning and quiet study. Whether you are kitting it out for primary kids or helping renovate a library at a college or even university level, a well-stocked, comfortable library goes a long way in helping people learn and grow at their own pace.
Article provided by Whiteleys Office, an office furniture specialist based in Kent with a reputation for designing and sourcing competitively