Great Library Spaces

Three YPRL Branch Managers participated in "Great Library Spaces" - a four-week professional development unit run by ALIA in partnership with TAFE NSW.

What is it? What did they learn? What does the future of library spaces look like? Read on...

It is a self-paced, interactive online course featuring “New, redesigned and renovated library spaces and the way that they are being used to meet the dynamic needs of the library’s community or inspire new interactions".

The four units cover:

  1. Inspiring Spaces
  2. Designing Spaces
  3. Library Spaces
  4. Creating/Reimagining Spaces

Here are some of the libraries that exemplify a few of the current trends in library design:
(Click on the pictures for more information on each one!)

Light and Open:

Sydney's Green Square Library and Plaza and Norway's "Storm" Library 


Taipei Public Library's Beitou Branch

Client focused:

Japan's "Woman's Inspiration Library" created exclusively for women.

What did we learn?

  • Libraries are flourishing in many countries around the world.
  • Library design is moving away from the traditional library floorplan and including collaborative spaces and maker spaces and spaces for learning and play.
  • Flexibility and adaptability are essential in meeting the immediate and future needs of the community.
  • Sustainability is important.
  • We are not alone in wanting library spaces which are inviting, practical and look beyond the book.
  • Self-paced learning can be fun and sharing our respective library design experiences with the other students doing the course was really interesting.

Here are some quirky libraries that we discovered:

The "Bookyard" created for the Belgian Arts Festival in 2012 and the "The 10 Weirdest And Most Wonderful Libraries In The World" check it out!

Ideas to take away:

  • Ecological sustainability can be a part of a marketing strategy depicting the library as socially responsible.
  • Libraries continue to be a ‘Third space’. 
  • Public Library buildings are unique in that they represent the aspirations of the community they serve and exist for.

By Branch Managers, Tracey Jermieson (Diamond Valley), Kerry O'Hara (Ivanhoe) and Serena Bellotti (Mill Park)

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