- Ideas & insights
- Does your school library need a redesign?
- By Samantha Langridge
- 3rd Feb 2023
Does your school library need a redesign?
With National Storytelling Week (30th January to 6th February) underway, it’s a timely reminder of the importance of school libraries. For many schools and colleges across the UK, the library is the academic heart of the building. Millions of children develop their love of learning and reading within the welcoming walls of their school library and that’s a tradition that should continue.
A good school library forms the foundation of lifelong learning and relies upon a good design that will transform it into an effective and inclusive environment.
In this article, we look at five key elements of interior design that can help you unleash your school library’s full potential:
A multifunctional space
The modern school library is more than just a collection of books and computers for quiet study time. It should be a multifunctional learning environment, offering students the space to make the most of their time there. Whether they are in the library to conduct independent research, take part in a group study project, or simply to socialise with their peer group, they should have the space and resources to do so. Even if your school library is on the small side, a well-designed layout of the available space will create an environment that is optimised for personal and academic growth.
Of course, at its heart, the school library is predominately a place for reading and this is something that should be encouraged. Studies have shown that reading for pleasure improves a student’s educational and personal development, with enjoyment of reading being reported as more important for educational success than the socio-economic status of a student’s family. You can help foster a passion for reading among pupils by setting out designated reading zones. These would include comfortable furniture and a peaceful environment where children can read at their leisure, away from the hustle and bustle of the rest of the school.
School libraries are also essential spaces for independent study and research, whether as individuals or groups. Again, the right school library furniture is essential in setting up these areas. Ergonomically designed chairs and desks provide the right conditions for students to study or revise in comfort.
An open experience
School libraries should be open and accessible to all. This doesn’t just mean the practical requirements of providing suitable access for students with mobility issues, it also covers making your library a safe and welcoming space. Bright colours, natural light, and clear signage are three simple things you can do to make your school library more inviting. An open-plan layout with moveable furniture means that pupils can transform the area to meet their particular needs. Consider plants, natural materials, and other elements of biophilic design to create an environment where children will love to learn.
A sign that you care
Schools, colleges, and other educational establishments are meant to inspire students to develop a love of learning and nowhere is this more important than in the school library. By investing in your library as a modern and inclusive learning resource centre, you demonstrate to students, parents, and teachers alike how important personal and academic growth is to your school. It’s a way to highlight your school’s vision and the values that it represents.
If your school library design is in need of improvement – whether by the addition of some new furniture or by a full refurbishment – get in touch with Westcountry Group today. We specialise in education interiors and will work closely with you to create the perfect environment for study and independent reading. Call the team today on 0330 030 0330 to arrange a free consultation with one of our designers.
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