Library interior design or architecture requires detailed planning before plans are drawn. Interior designers can facilitate the planning process if they are skilled in communication and knowledge of the function of a library. The needs of the library patrons must be adhered to when planning the design.
It is important for designers involved in library interior design to be aware of the ambience that the library must convey to its visitors. Many bookstores feature nice comfortable chairs and coffee service enticing visitors to stay longer. In the past, libraries were very sterile and uninviting for many people, especially the younger crowd. How does the modern library compete with the bookstore? The interior designer must use their knowledge of construction and design along with their marketing skills to design a library that can bring in all ages and compete with the modern bookstore/coffee shop.
Some areas the designer may focus on are lighting, acoustics and signage. Library interior design involves designing for different age groups, people who are there for study or research purposes and people who just want to relax with friends and read the paper. Everyone must easily access all products and services offered by the library. Work areas for staff must be ergonomic and functional. Areas for children should include hands on play areas and quiet reading areas for parents and children. The entire facility should be modern and fun. The designer will need to include areas for computer use as well.
An important aspect of library interior design involves the selection of furniture. The furniture must be durable and comfortable. If the library has a set budget, the designer will need to pay close attention to it when selecting furniture. The interior designer will need call on all their supplier contacts to source out the best possible deal for the library in order to stay under budget. There are also commercial manufacturers that design furniture specifically for libraries and other commercial buildings. Interior designers or architects can select standard furniture and then add a custom feature to it to fit the needs of the library design project. Commercial furniture is manufactured to withstand heavy use.
Another aspect of library interior design is a theft detection system must be installed in a strategic location. Staff should have the ability to easily exit from their desk if the theft alarm sounds as well. Other factors involved in the design of the library are related to the specific procedures and policies in place by the library. This is when the interior designer must use their communication skills to plan the design. It can be quite costly to correct mistakes.
Interior designers involved in a library interior design plan, should interview staff members of the library to gain insight into the needs of the staff plus the design of the staff work areas and furniture such as a staff desk. Once the designer has obtained information from the staff, they should then prepare some drawings for staff to review. If the project is quite large then perhaps a mock desk or model could be made for staff to review. Library interior design is one of the many niche areas of designers come across in their professional careers.