February 16, 2018

Librarians’ Picks | Library by Design, Spring 2016

The latest designs in furnishings and fixtures add punch and patron interest to building projects. How many would work in your library?

Power Play


FrameOne by Steelcase is a benching system for offices that works beautifully for public computers in the Central & Unser Library, Albuquerque-Bernalillo County Library System, NM. The top surface slides out to expose an extensive trough for data and power cables generous enough to accommodate separate cords and circuits for powering PCs independent of outlets for customers’ devices. (No grommets required!) Accessories include privacy panels, accessible outlets, and lights that all slot into a continuous middle “spine” (but skip the “access door”). Optional panels for middle leg conceal and house cables going to the floor. Steelcase, www.steelcase.com/products/benching/frameone

Sitting Pretty


The King County Library System, WA, has among its patrons several “artists” who created the images used to customize the TMC Kestrel ImPrinted Child Chair. Oaker Cox (l.) and Chloe Johnson (r.) added some whimsy and personalization to the children’s area with their drawings “Book Bear” and “Heart Hero.” TMC Furniture, www.tmcfurniture.com/product-kids/seating


Navigate_2016-Product Card_RedSz

The Orion Township Public Library (OTPL), Lake Orion, MI, downsized its service points using Palmieri Navigate desks. These desks accommodate one staff member each with enough space to use a computer, a phone, and other tools. The patrons receive the benefit of a smaller piece of furniture, encouraging easier patron interaction with staff. OTPL has one Navigate desk for the youth and adult reference areas and two Navigate desks combined to make up the circulation service point.
Palmieri, palmierifurniture.com/product/navigate-2

Ahoy There, Teens!


The Waukegan Public Library, IL, didn’t have a designated place for teens, and after its recent remodel, the staff were going to tackle that issue next. Lo and behold, the teens started naturally congregating mostly around this boat-shaped table on the main floor. At 16’ long and 36” high (counter height), the table has integrated power, USB chargers, and wire management. There are numerous color and finish options available, but the best option seems to be its magnetic attraction for the library’s young adults. 3Branch, www.3branch.com/maker.html

Just Improvise


Teens love furniture that makes eating easy! The Agati Hampton Banquette Café Booths in The Ground Floor teen space at Monroe County Public Library, Bloomington, IN, are excellent for that. However, staff are just as likely to see teens building model airplanes, playing video games, doing homework, or telling sophomoric jokes at a whispered hush. They truly excel at flexibility, and that’s the main reason teens love and use them so much. Agati Furniture, www.agati.com/hampton-straight

Light up My Life


The designer “assembled” reading lamps from a variety of sources to create a bespoke fixture that is unique to the interior of the Welwood Murray Memorial Library, Palm Springs, CA. The “off-the-shelf” lamp bases in a brushed and polished aluminum finish were “rescaled” to fit the environment. The shades were fabricated using an imported wall covering made from recycled newsprint and old book pages, then trimmed at the top and bottom in a leather binding. A specific LED light was chosen for economy and the warm color temperature. Ultra Lights, www.ultralightslighting.com


Karen Knox, Director, Orion Township Public Library, Lake Orion, MI
Richard Lee, Executive Director, Waukegan Public Library, IL
Kevin MacDowell, Teen & Digital Creativity Strategist, Monroe County Public Library, Bloomington, IN
Adrianne Ralph, King County Library System, Issaquah, WA
Dean P. Smith, Library Director, Albuquerque–Bernalillo County Library System, NM
Michael A. Thomas, Interior Designer, Design Collective Group for Palm Springs Public Library, CA

This article was published in Library Journal's May 15, 2016 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

The Latest Trends in Library Design
Hosted in partnership with Salt Lake County Library and The City Library—at SLCo’s Viridian Center—the newest installment of our library building and design event will let you dig deep with architects, librarians, and vendors to explore building, renovating, and retrofitting spaces to better engage your community.