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The Future of Libraries

Libraries have evolved from just rows of library shelving stacked with books and archive collections to more open spaces that provide patrons with multifunctional co-working spaces. Within both school and public libraries, repurposing has been at the forefront of construction trends in order to build a better sense of community. By condensing collections and reducing the overall storage footprint, libraries are now able to provide areas for:

  • Collaborative Workspaces

    One of the main causes for repurposing libraries is to make room for more collaborative learning spaces. These large workspaces allow for groups to work together on projects, work through problems and develop new ideas all in one communal area

  • Meeting Rooms

    Closer to the traditional spaces offered by libraries, these areas are private collaborative workspaces for groups to complete uninterrupted work. They can also be used to for holding classes and programs offered within the library.

  • Makerspaces

    Areas within a repurposed library dedicated to constructing projects, which could be anything from simple arts and crafts, to working with power tools and building birdhouses.

  • Cafes

    A coffee shop vibe can be achieved without leaving the library. Many repurposed libraries are integrating cafes that include a variety of drinks and snacks that go above and beyond the basic vending machines.

  • Media Rooms and more

    Technology savvy rooms stocked with computers, lap tops, cameras and recording devices, media rooms are becoming a large part of library repurposing because of the switch to digital collections and downloads.

Each library that repurposed their space sets the bar higher for another. The library of the future offers more than just books, it provides collaborative spaces and a sense of community. 

Change the Way You Look at Libraries:

Spacesaver helps to repurpose libraries by replacing static library shelving with innovative conventional shelving solutions and mobile storage systems. Each Spacesaver library shelving solution, like 4-post and cantilever shelving systems, are designed to fit your specific storage needs and create a space that works for you.

High-Density mobile systems eliminate static aisles and increase your open floor space, making it possible to repurpose those areas for other uses. Each High-Density mobile library-shelving unit can:

  • Consolidate existing collections
  • Create easy and efficient organizations
  • Provide room to grow for the future

Info Sheet: The Repurposed Library

Long gone are the days when the main purpose for libraries was to store books and media for the community to borrow. Today, Libraries are repurposing their spaces to provide collaborative areas, private rooms for meetings and conferences, workshops or makerspaces, lounges and cafes. Library repurposing has become a pro-active trend used to maintain and grow patronage, and also to better support the community.

Download The Repurposed Library Info Sheet to learn more about trends and solutions that are changing the way we view libraries.

White Paper: Space Planning Considerations for Library Repurposing

Library repurposing involves creating space on-site for new functions without eliminating the collections that need to be accessed on a daily basis by staff and patrons. The next step in your process is to determine how to do so. In this paper we will discuss how high-density mobile storage can relieve space pressure by maximizing space efficiency in collection areas, how off-site storage can free up even more space onsite, and lastly, how sustainable design initiatives can be achieved through the use of smart storage solutions.

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