A movement is fast approaching. Gone are the days of what was once a traditional library setting, and instead refreshing approaches are sweeping library design, transforming what we once knew into what we could have only imagined a few years ago. Much of this has to do with attracting a younger audience. As mentioned in It’s Not All About the Books, “Social and behavioural characteristics are changing, and the way that people learn and use libraries, is changing. I think by and large younger people are happier with something that’s buzzier and noisier, where there are things going on.” With new applications and an attraction allocated to targeting younger generations, library design of the future is sure to be dynamic, interactive, and an all-encompassing discovery zone. Spurring this momentum are three identities that libraries are adapting – see below for our 3 Essential Aspects of a Future Library:
1) A Coffee Shop Alternative
Although libraries are necessary for quiet moments of reading and solitude, an entirely new dimension is creeping into these spaces. As mentioned in The Library of the Future is Here:
- The library as a warehouse of information is an outdated concept. The library of the 21st century is a community workshop, a hub filled with the tools of the knowledge economy.
- With these moves, the library has re-branded itself as a coffee shop alternative and a technology salon for the upwardly mobile.
- As information has become easier to access, libraries are smart to bolster their physical spaces to stay relevant.
Physical spaces of libraries are being allocated to address different needs. Also proposed in Breaking Out of the Library Mold, in Boston and Beyond: “Along with their new offerings, libraries are presenting a dramatically more open face to the outside world, using lots of glass, providing comfortable seating, as much for collaborative work as solitary pursuits, and allowing food and drink.” Spots for collaboration and the exchange of creative ideas are becoming as equally as important as the need for quiet moments.
As mentioned Imagining the Modern Library, “Along with this, libraries are rethinking how they present themselves. This includes more open, comfy seating, technology and space designed to encourage collaboration as well as solitary work, and the opportunity for food and drink. The goal is to create environments to boost people’s ability to learn, work together, and create information. It is this spirit, for instance, that teen centers have become prevalent in our libraries. These are places encouraging teens to ‘Hang Out,’ ‘Mess Around,’ and ‘Geek Out’ (‘HOMAGO’), including a newer focus on gaming, digital labs, and software and equipment to record and create.” HOMAGO is new term that will soon become part of library culture, and could very well extend itself into common areas, classrooms, and more.
3) The Super-Library
The above trend also easily translates in to what are now being called Super-Libraries. Identified in Library Insights: Design Redefined, “Libraries continue to offer a wider range of spaces, services and programs to meet the evolving needs of today’s users. As a result, the concept of the “Super- Library” has emerged.” Additionally, two important points made in Seven Trends in Children’s and Teen Library Services:
- “This is what’s happening at a lot of libraries, the creation of an open, physical environment,” said Joe Murphy, a librarian and library futures consultant based in Reno, Nev. “The idea of being inviting isn’t just to boost attendance but to maximize people’s creativity.”
- “Libraries have long facilitated the “finding” of information…Now they are facilitating the creating of information.”
So how is a culture created that attracts a collaborative generation of teens and college students, and will propel these essential aspects forward? KI introduces MyWay — adaptive lounge seating that anticipates your every move. With MyWay, you can comfortably connect, collaborate and socialize on your terms in postures that adapt to your every need. It’s the most accommodating way to work, learn and relax your way. Designed with technology in mind, MyWay’s unique arm styles easily accommodate a wide range of devices, technology and power support. So you can text, email, and charge up – wherever your device takes you. Experience a new level of beauty and functionality. MyWay — Enjoy your stay. Your way.