For this project, I started with a library floorplan in Icovia’s Space Planner. The library was large and well equipped but not what I wanted for my middle school library layout. It felt cluttered and some of the spaces seems redundant. A few of the items used felt unnecessary, for instance, the poster display shelf that costs nearly $500. I used the original floorplan as a template and modified it based on the idea that I wanted a middle school library with multiple spaces for collaboration, learning, reading, and exploring. I also wanted good traffic flow and flawless visibility to all areas of the library from the circulation desk. I chose to get rid of extraneous furniture and focus on creating an environment that invites exploration. I chose to stagger the bookshelves in a way that invites the patrons to meander through them and explore aisles next to the one they originally sought out. As a huge fan of genrefication in school libraries, it was important to designate this classification system in my shelving.
After creating my redesigned library, I consulted with a friend who has been a middle school librarian for many years to see if she could offer me any additional insights. She had several useful tips. She suggested turning the chairs of the reading area towards the circulation desk for better visibility of the students, changing the work tables in the technology areas from rectangles to circles or hexagons to better facilitate collaboration and prevent any one student from being at the head of the table. She recognized that I had a plant and a bookshelf blocking two external doorways, as well. I remediated these issues, resulting in the third library design that you see here.