Model Programme for Public Libraries

Kultur styrrelsen

Realdania

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Flexibility

Flexibility has become a mantra at a time that is characterised by rapid changes. This also applies to libraries, which need to match ever more individualised user needs. Optimally, the flexibility of the interior design and layout, functions and spatial interplay needs to make it possible for all of the library's users, regardless of their needs and behaviour, to find suitable settings and professional assistance during opening hours that should ideally be close to 24/7.

A library space can be made adaptable for a variety of activities by means of movable furniture, bookcases on wheels and similar. However, the challenge is of course, that flexibility and adaptability as such cannot meet the ambition about providing all users with access to everything all the time. The library's spaces and resources are not infinite. Flexibility must be linked with planning and booking if more functions are to work well in the same spaces, drawing on the same resources. Particularly if the same spaces are to be adapted so as to support the changing users' activities optimally.

The ad hoc-based access to the library's abundance of diverse activities and offers poses great demands about clarity and guidance. The more updated, clear and precise this guidance is, the more the playing fields for experiences and activities open up to fulfil the visitors' spontaneous needs. However, the optimum match of activity and user profile is best achieved by means of targeted communication and working with clearly declared activities and offers. The same applies to the quality of the service.

How to optimise the experience for the spontaneous user:

Adaptable furniture and equipment:

Stacking chairs, mobile bookcases, modular furniture, multi-functional equipment etc. support flexibility at the library. Storage spaces for tables and chairs will also be an advantage.

Storage options for equipment, tools and materials, as well as different thematic depots and mobile labs can facilitate multiple usage possibilities for the library's spaces.

Flexibility and future-proofing

Flexibility is also to contribute to future-proofing libraries. Planning should allow for the possibility that existing functions, including material types, may disappear, and that entirely new functions such as Citizen Service, tourist service, ticket sales etc. will need to be integrated.

Make your own contribution via the Facebook group

If you have examples or ideas about how libraries can increase flexibility in the interior design and layout, thus creating suitable settings for new activities, or if you have comments to the actual design challenge, please feel free to comment via the Facebook group.

19. Apr 2017 at. 10:37

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