Knowledge sharing has always been at the heart of a library, regardless of whether it’s located in a school, city library or suburban branch. While the purpose of a library remains focused on exploration and learning, the environment itself is evolving.
An increasing number of “makerspaces” - DIY spaces where people can gather to create, invent, and learn - are being installed in libraries, offering children a collaborative space for creative, hands on experiences. And by hands on, this could be interactive spaces filled with various materials including art supplies, textiles, construction materials, robots, 3D printers and much, much more.
Key elements you may need to consider when planning to incorporate a “makerspace” in your library are:
If it’s on wheels and is adaptable, then that’s the type of furniture you want in a makerspace. A furniture system that can accommodate self-directed individual activities or group work is recommended. Height-adjustable tables, mobile workstations and nesting seating options are all great choices.
You can never have too much storage in a makerspace, but you do need the right type of storage. Steer clear of cabinets, as they hide what’s inside them and kids won’t know what’s available for them to use. Clearly labelled open shelves are a must, as they allow all materials and tools to be on display for kids to not only select from, but also put back in the right place.
And after all of that making, you’ll need separate storage for works “in-progress” or that need drying time. A few display shelves or racks would be a great inclusion to showcase completed works.
While carpet is typically the flooring of choice for libraries, makerspaces need something that can cope with a bit of mess. Vinyl offers excellent durability, and makes it easy to clean off any spills that might occur from all that creative work. You’ll also be able to set the tone for your space with your flooring, as vinyl is available in a large range of designs, colours and styles.
You will probably need many power points in a makerspace - and that doesn’t just mean on the walls. Ceiling-mounted pull-down or in-floor power points provide great flexibility for the type of activities you do. This means you’re not limited to using electronic devices or computers in a fixed location, which will provide you with lots of activity options as your makerspace evolves over time.
Are you planning a library refurbishment? To discuss how Premis Solutions can assist with your next project, call us today on 1300 773 647.