Whether you’re remodeling or rebuilding, these considerations will equip your library to meet today’s needs and tomorrow’s challenges.

School libraries need to encourage hands-on research, discovery, learning and development among students, teachers and staff. And chances are, you won’t be able to rebuild your library for years – if not decades. We’ve compiled a checklist of 10 considerations for those rebuilding, remodeling or even just refurnishing these centers for learning. With the right consideration, says School Planning and Management, your library could carry you well into the 22nd century.

  1. Location: Where will your library be? Consider if you want a centrally located library, or a building with public access after-hours.
  2. Mobility: Will furnishings, equipment, casework and shelving be mobile? Consider equipping your library with bookcases, tables, chairs and desks that have wheels.
  3. Surface: What’s the best flooring for activities and acoustics? Consider a surface that suits areas not just used for informal reading and research, but activities such as art and science projects that require an easy-to-clean maintenance routine.
  4. Walls: Is it necessary to have fixed walls? The ability to reposition walls facilitates multiple group settings, especially when classes of different sizes utilize the space at the same time.
  5. Doors: Do your doors allow for visual supervision? Doors to the exterior with view panels and sliding doors can create large-group instruction spaces.
  6. Lighting: Is natural light always best? Daylight can boost student achievement, but darkening the space for presentations and performances is also important. Consider quality window blinds and artificial lighting as well.
  7. Technology: Do students and staff have Internet and wireless access points? Be sure to have not only access points to wireless devices, but charging stations as well to keep up with modern modes of learning.
  8. Climate: Can your HVAC support a flexible, multi-use library efficiently? Consider when the building will be occupied to map out the most efficient heating and cooling strategy.
  9. Plumbing: Can your facility keep up? Think beyond bathrooms. If your library also functions as a hands-on research center, you need to consider sinks and floor drains throughout the facility.
  10. Electric: Are you plugged in? A multi-use library will require multiple electrical outlets, not only on walls, but also on the floors and hanging from ceilings.

Get an in-depth look at each of these tips in the complete article.