Thursday, May 15, 2014

Library Spaces

This past spring I have been doing a lot of traveling for meetings and conferences.  Of course, I always stop in at local libraries as there are always neat ideas that I can "borrow" for my own workplace.  For those who don't get to travel much or just love looking at library spaces, here are some pictures from my travels.

Indianapolis Public Library
If you haven't ever been to the Central Library location of the Indianapolis Public Library, it is definitely a destination spot.  Seriously, your eyes will glaze over in wonder as you look around.  My only gripe about the building was that there was no teen space.  The children's area has a high tech feel.

They run a QR code scavenger hunt throughout the department.  How cool is that?!?  While I can't invest in these stations like they have, I can definitely make my own QR code hunt.

In their juvenile nonfiction area, they have black-and-white pictures above the shelving bays to show off what is there.  I really like this, especially for younger kids who can't read yet.  Plus, we all know that Dewey is a foreign language to most people.  Pictures really do help!  While our shelving ranges are too tall to do something like this, it may be possible to add pictures to the endcaps.

This is probably the neatest part about the whole library.  They have a green screen!  Kids (and adults!) can predict the weather or drive a racecar.  There is raised seating in this area and they actually do all of their story times here!  When I asked about how that would work, they said that they do a normal story time where the presenter sits up front.  Then during the last 10 minutes or so, kids could come up and play with the green screen.  It is a great way to add technology to every story time!

Willard Public Library-Battle Creek
The Willard Public Library in Battle Creek, MI does a fantastic job creating a bookstore feel as you wander through the displays.  They use multiple copies and faceouts, which promotes circulation.  

I hadn't seen a library break out their seasonal books before and I thought this was a neat concept (excuse the bad picture).  We all know that spring, summer, fall, and winter books tend to only circulate during their given season.  This tends to hurt circulation when comparing them to the rest of the collection.  I really liked this idea, plus the display space on the tops of the shelves.

Bloomfield Township Public Library
I will be honest-as a children's librarian I "borrow" a lot of ideas from this library.  They have a lot of specialized collections that we are just starting (or enhancing) at my library, including special needs and parent/teacher collections  If you haven't been there before, you definitely need to stop by if you are in Metro Detroit.

I love the built-in shelves on all of the endcaps throughout their children's area.  This makes it easy to pull out and highlight various books.  Plus, kids can see what is in that area!

This is their story time room.  I really liked the curved feel to the room as it makes it easier for everybody to see the presenter.  Ours is a square and it is hard to find a good place to set up the flannelboard and the cd player for easy access and so everybody can see.

Harper Woods Public Library
This is a smaller library that I just visited this past week.  They recently went through a renovation and really made good use of their space.

While the children's area is downstairs, they have clear signage so you can identify the department.  Plus, the children's reference desk is right when you come down the stairs.

No space in this building was wasted.  Under the stairs are these great blobby holes that are perfect reading nooks.  Plus, they bring color into the children's area.

That's all that I have for now.  I will be back the next time I get a round of pictures!


  1. Oooh, these are fun! I wish I had more libraries to explore by me. Maybe I will share some pictures of the spaces at our other branches. They are smaller but there has been some smart planning done to make best use of the space that is there.

    1. Agreed! You can find something neat to take away just about anywhere. I also do pics of displays, rooms, signage, computer set-ups, etc.

  2. Ohhh I love seeing inside other libraries! Last summer, just after I had gotten my new [first-ever] library job, my husband and I had a vacation scheduled and I just had to stop in and see the Seattle and Vancouver libraries! Though most places are much much bigger than mine, there are always little take-aways, right?

    I did a QR code scavenger hunt for our teens during spring break:


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