March 22, 2018

Librarians’ Picks | Library by Design, Fall 2016

Librarians who have recently completed building projects are eager to share their choices for design that raises the bar above the expected

Comfy Cozy


When selecting furniture for the children and teen areas, the Athens-Limestone Public Library, AL, wanted a couch that was fun and functional, something that could be lain upon and snuggled into, without sharp corners. The Steelcase Campfire Big Lounge resembles 1970s blow-up furniture, yet it’s firm and stable. Adults (even those with knee problems) can easily sit and get up again. The material is durable and washable and comes in a variety of hues. The library chose a sunny canary yellow to give its spaces some pop. Steelcase,

Books by Their Covers


Remember the days of going to your favorite record store and flipping through LPs to find just the right album for your turntable? In the newly renovated Park City Library, UT, the youngest crowd can have a similar experience when browsing for board books and picture books. Durable pull-out Browsing Bins encourage the hip six-and-under crowd to peruse colorful book covers to make their selections. Spacesaver,

Do the Flop


Teens who visit the Ground Floor teen space at Monroe County Public Library, IN, make themselves comfortable on any piece of furniture, especially if the furniture seems made for flopping around. The circular book shelves have a unique inside design that invites teens to hang out. The inner bench lining the shelf seats many friends, and the accompanying Element round stools are at nearly the same height, offering many opportunities for the “Flop.” Artopex,

Fidgety Fun


Older children (ages six to 12) who visit the Orion Township Public Library, MI, can use the new iPad bar and try out some fun and educational apps. Seated on ONGO stools, the kids can fidget all they want, as these stools accommodate movement via active sitting. With a curved base that allows for motion and adjustable height, the kids enjoy bellying up to the bar. Palmieri,

A Joint Reading Space


The Isola chair by Tacchini, a big hit at the Central & Unser Library, Albuquerque-Bernalillo County Library System, NM, is designed as a “personal work space,” but it can also serve as the perfect “reading space” for a parent and child. The low seat makes it easy to get in to share library finds, but the comfortable design will make parent and child want to stay until all the books are finished. Tacchini,

Media Tables & Wall


Gamers and students at the Waukegan Public Library, IL, love these 3branch tables because they can work collaboratively on a project or presentation building and have it projected onto the large monitor. The screen is double-sided to accommodate two separate groups and has integrated power and cables within. Available in many color and finish options. 3branch,


Adriane Herrick Juarez, Director, Park City Library, UT
Karen Knox, Director, Orion Township Public Library, Lake Orion, MI
Paula S.W. Laurita, Director, Athens-Limestone Public Library, AL
Richard Lee, Executive Director, Waukegan Public Library, IL
Kevin MacDowell, Teen & Digital Creativity Strategist, Monroe County Public Library, Bloomington, IN
Dean P. Smith, Library Director, Albuquerque–Bernalillo County Library System, NM

This article was published in Library Journal's September 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.