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Library design gallery

This is a small selection of the projects we have worked on. These galleries are organised to reflect what we believe are the key elements of good library design, supporting a customer-centred approach to provide a high quality library service.

Browsing and choosing

Creating layouts which draw customers deeper into the collection, peppering lively promotions in hot spots throughout the space and encouraging surprising discoveries, all make for dynamic library interiors.

Surfing and studying

It’s great to offer a choice of where and how to use a computer – standard desk or bar-height; individual or collaborative; open or with privacy dividers. Whether customers are making job applications, researching family history or just having fun with friends, the library can support them. You can curve desks to fit into attractive discovery layouts and add extra features such as digitables, wall-mounted touch screens and safe public access sockets for plugging in customers’ own devices.

Growing readers

Creating users of the future is a priority for all library services. Child-friendly spaces in libraries have to meet the needs of a broad range of ages, attracting both boys and girls, encouraging exploration, excitement and imagination.

Creating a welcome

For years book stores and other retailers have understood that the longer people stay in a shop, the more they browse and the more they buy. Creating areas where customers can be comfortable and linger in the library gives them time to explore.

Enabling independence

Not all library customers want to ask for help when they can’t find what they’re looking for. Not everybody is comfortable presenting their choices to staff for scrutiny before they get issued. Good, clear guiding and well-positioned self-service provision are crucial for customers who value privacy and independence.

Helping customers

It’s a great idea for staff to occasionally walk through the library and think about it from the visitor’s point of view. Where is the best place to have an information board? Should we have an additional staff point at the far end of the library? Would a first time visitor be able to find what they need? The library layout can support staff in ensuring that all customers can have easy access to every part of the service.

Libraries in new buildings

“Opening the Book could see from the start how to make best use of the space, restoring the proportions and aesthetics of the original building at the same time as delivering a modern hi-tech library service. We really enjoyed working together to realise this vision."
Gareth Morley, Head of Culture & Libraries, Vision Redbridge Culture & Leisure

Working in heritage buildings

“We wanted to ensure that the design of Toxteth Library interior was in keeping with the magnificent Edwardian interior yet would make people feel that this was also a modern library worthy of the 21st Century. We think that Opening the Book captured this aspiration and really delivered on our vision of the best of the old meeting with state of the art new - and with a real added wow factor for good measure. Opening the Book had great ideas and were also prepared to work with our ideas in order to realise the vision we wanted.”
John Keane, Learning and Diversity Manager, Liverpool City Council