We’re seeing the traditional library model – rows and rows of shelves and a quiet reading/studying environment - being replaced by lively, community centres that are clearly divided into zones. These zones are not divided by walls, but by colour and furniture placement. Zones enables users to work in their own space, individually or in groups, or to create a space within a zone for their own use.
Popular zones include:
- Story time zones. These include low shelves with plenty of room for displaying books with their cover showing, as these appeal more to children than rows of book spines. Often, soft cushions are scattered throughout the reading zone. These furnishings are part of the zone where kids use them and move them every day. Sometimes these are used as seats, sometimes as stepping stones. These story telling zones are more than the name suggests. Many libraries invite third party specialists to run “rhyme time” sessions. These group activities include music, dance and story telling.
- Reading zones. The portability and design of today’s library furniture enables the creation of zones that can often be adapted to provide readers with their own space, or to take in views often afforded by generous window design.
- Study and collaboration zones: Bay seats and tables enables users to work solo, or in collaboration. The availability of device power and charging ports fosters long tern study sessions.
Zones help visitors work together, or read alone in silence. They are often defined by furniture, soft seating and study booths. They help make a library "come alive" as mobile pieces enable user to re-configure them to suit their individual or group needs.