Multipurpose LIBRARIES for Multigenerational Communities

…“Newer libraries feature light-filled welcoming spaces and visible hubs of activity,” Kayongo said. “It helps people feel less intimidated.”

Floor-to-ceiling windows, glass partitions, staff offices that are accessible to the public, lower shelving in children’s areas, and atriums that welcome patrons with sweeping interior views are democratizing libraries and encouraging users to experience the entire space versus one section.

“Modern library design is about that visual connection,” Sorg added. “We want libraries to feel open and foster connection and transparency between community members and the staff. We’re designing libraries so people have a better understanding that the library appeals to everyone.” …

… As libraries morph to meet the needs of local populations, they often find they need to be more things to more people, which means providing areas that are not strictly for collections. …

… Areas featuring comfortable seating such as cafes in addition to flexible event spaces that can serve multiple purposes are also becoming more common in newly designed libraries. According to Sorg, creating spaces in a library that do not prominently feature books can be a challenging conversation. “But library administrations are [increasingly] understanding that it’s not always about circulation—it’s about creating engagement and making an impact within the community,” she said….