Redesigning Your Library Means...

A considerable focus of my work as a designer centers on creating next-generation library spaces and programs. Most often this means a redesigned library space and changes to the experience provided by the new space. Over the past four years of this work, I've developed some ideas about the redesign of library spaces and what that can look like. Here is a sample of the possibilities associated with redesigning a library space:

Redesigning your library means rethinking the invitation and the experience that the space offers.

Redesigning your library means rethinking how your library acts as a catalyst for reshaping how learning occurs in your building and in your school community.

Redesigning your library can mean a library that functions on-demand, that can be reshaped, and what someone sees Period 1 in the library can look different from what that person sees Period 8. And period 2. And period 6, and so on.

Redesigning your library means having to kick kids out of the space when it "closes." Redesigning your library means it actually never closes and kids have online access to the people, resources, and connections that enable them to continue learning.

Redesigning your library means understanding the connective tissue of the school and how the library extends the capacity of classrooms, informal spaces like the cafeteria, online spaces and outdoor spaces, and how they work together across a distributed ecology of space and time.

Redesigning the library means engaging in a design process that is inclusive and honors the voices of the school community. Redesigning the library does not mean accepting a drawing from architects or your furniture distributor without having those conversations with community first.

Redesigning the library means rethinking your perspectives and vision surrounding what it means to be literate, and how an emergent view of contemporary literacy shapes what the experience in the space is and how the space needs to be designed to support that.

Redesigning the library means have resources and books that enable kids to go on personal journeys and expeditions and having books that help them learn about, understand, and support their emergent identity (Hat tip to @emkokie).

Redesigning the library means having inclusive and comprehensive programs that promote democracy and freedom of expression.

Redesigning the library means starting with a blank slate, imagining and having the passion and courage to create a space and experience where students can accomplish anything.

Redesigning means changing the purpose, capacity and behavior of your library.

Redesigning means rethinking everything.

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