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Library Design: Building a Community Space

Traditionally, libraries have merely had a transactional purpose, revolving around lending books. These days, with the Internet and e-books making reading infinitely more accessible, libraries have had to get innovative and implement change to keep patrons coming through their doors. No longer can they rely on being defined by the exchange of physical books.  


Now, public libraries tend to focus more on their relationships with the local community and focus on providing meeting spaces that host a variety of activities not necessarily related to books. Because libraries have become almost an additional living space for members of the community, the physical library design and layout are more important than ever. 


The shifting needs of the library’s patrons mean that meeting spaces really are a must. Individual study desks are great, but larger tables surrounded by chairs in which community members can talk and collaborate are essential in a modern library design. The space needs to be a place of interaction with other people, not just with books or reading materials.  


For instance, at my local library, there are a myriad of clubs that use the library to gather and socialize. There’s a genealogy club, a language club that’s currently learning Spanish, and a group of elderly ladies that meets every week to play Mahjong. If you ask any library worker across the country, they’ll tell you something similar. People can read anywhere with a click of a button these days, but coming together with friends, colleagues, or neighbors can be a bit tougher. Therefore, this relational function needs to be at the forefront when designing or rearranging a library.  


When choosing comfortable chairs to allow such meeting spaces to flourish at your library, consider the elegant, durable sustainable chairs at Eustis Chair.



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