Furniture and Spaces

Screen Shot 2013-08-12 at 12.54.38 PMWhat are the advantages/disadvantages of various kinds of furniture in the learning commons? If they don’t move easily, do they belong?

In these galleries, add your idea of what you like or dislike. You can add pictures at the end if you’d like to share them by using the insert and then image tab. Of course, you can also add comments in any of the picture galleries or comment on the blog.




Shelving and Storage

Work Space, Alcoves, MakerSpaces

How do you create private or semi-private or open work spaces so that groups can function simultaneously?

And, other far-our ideas about collaborative workspaces

  • Take a look at this design site. Modules that can be adjusted and recreated…
    Fastco Designs

What’s Next?

Back to the Gallery; or, on to The Workshop

9 comments on “Furniture and Spaces

  1. I like the different examples and the Google Docs. Is there a way of having a layout program for librarians to create their ideal library? Also good that in the Google Docs librarians with the actual furniture can say if the idea lives up to its potential. Some of these look great, but are they unwieldy, too lightweight, bad use of space, etc., it would be good to have that information.

    Lakeshore has something similar to what I’m thinking about the layout program:

  2. One of the problems I struggle with in my LMC is quiet space. The library is bustling ALL of the time. A lot of the furniture has a collaborative nature. I would like to see how to cultivate a few quiet study places for students.

    • Amen! There is all this talk about unquiet libraries that ignore the needs of those that want the quiet study or reading space. We recently did a needs survey of our entire school in the context of developing a long-term building plan. The biggest comment that came up regarding the library spaces was that, even though it is likely the most quiet and focused public space in the school, it is not quiet enough for many people’s needs. We are working with an architectural firm right now who have some wonderful ideas about partitioning space (eg. using bookshelves to delineate quieter space) and using acoustic treatment such as low-level white noise generators to separate spaces acoustically.

      • I went to a public library not long ago that has a room about the size of a medium office with very think glass on two sides just before you entered the youth area of the library (in full view of the youth Ref desk). This room was designed for quiet/silent study. When I asked the youth librarian about the room she said they had so many requests for a quiet/silent study area that they turned one of the librarians offices in this study room and have had GREAT success with it and very little problems with noise complaints.
        I know this was in a public library but there might be a way to do something similar for a school library also.
        Rachel LIBR233Spring2014 Student

  3. Would like to see more options of furniture for teen areas, as well as more depictions of functioning libraries for YAs

  4. The first thing I must do is second Marc’s “Amen”. On one hand, I fully embrace the inclusion of social workspaces full of energetic chatter and discussion. On the other hand, keeping some spaces quiet and private is vital in the success and survival of libraries, in general. A big problem is, I think, that libraries are often put in areas small enough (budget) that creating multiple spaces varied in noise level is a nearly impossible endeavor. Relatedly, while moveable furniture, tables, and chairs can go a long way in supplementing multiple spaces, separate rooms and doors are invaluable. A few days ago, I and a partner needed to work on something together and I suggested Barnes and Noble because there we could spread out papers and index cards in relative quiet. A part of me was ashamed that I, as an LIS student, did not suggest a library instead. However, the part of me that felt it necessary that we work in a spacious, quiet setting (and, admittedly, one with coffee) won out. – Vaughn Egge, SLIS Student

  5. I can also chime in on the need for quiet work space. We are struggling to find a balance right now because our ”quiet” room contains a large conference table which is NOT conducive for quiet. However, administrators like the “quiet” room as an extra meeting space and are reluctant to eliminate the large table from it. Since it has doors; it allows for privacy so meetings can go on there even during the school day.

    In regards to furniture, my personal bias is that tables should be round. I find rectangular tables take up space and are hard to be flexible with. I really like all the variety of heights for tables and chairs shown in the images. I think it’s important to have everything from coffee table height to standing height for various types of projects and people.
    Shannon Greene LIBR233 SP14

  6. I am about to become my school’s first-ever librarian with a physical space that is challenging at best. I agree with the above posts about the need for quiet work spaces. As a high school student struggling with geometry, I chose my college town’s Law Library for some of the reasons Vaughn described above: it was a quiet work space where I could spread out. The beauty of the place (long oak tables, beautiful murals) helped too.

    Several years ago, when I was teaching at a different school– the school library at the time was a central, common space adjacent to a bustling music room and a main entrance, I had an eighth grade student ask, “do some high schools have a quiet place where you could just read?”

    I am also thinking about each school’s need for different kinds of spaces. I don’t have an overall preference for recangualr vs. round tables, bu I do think that flexibilty and moveability are key traits, and that shape may depend on the space and on the kinds of work that students need to so. I just saw the white folding rectangular tables put to excellent use at my son’s martial arts school. They are in a flexible, multipurpose common space and solid while also being very easy to move and fold. Likewise, the rolling chairs stack easily but offer quality, adjustable-height seating. Here the furniture meets the space’s needs very well.
    Rebecca Greco LIBR233 SP14

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