From comfy seating options to powered tables for multi-media presentations, find out the hottest products for creating collaborative learning environments in your library.
Marketing your library can be a struggle — you have so many great resources, but how can you promote all of them? And what’s the best way to get the word out? Library veteran Cathy Hakala-Ausperk offers advice for your marketing questions.
After writing grants, garnering the support of the college foundation and finding community partners, St. Petersburg College’s Innovation Lab was born.
A cardboard building project turned into a successful library makerspace and countless opportunities for students to learn through making.
Professional conferences can leave you feeling ready to take on the world with all the new ideas you’ve gathered. But attending conferences and events isn’t always an option. Fortunately, there are multiple online learning opportunities available to the library community. Discover your options!
Support (and opposition) for your library can come from some interesting places in your community — and it’s all about relationship-building. Start developing long-term relationships that can result in positive support for your library campaigns.
Too Small to Fail’s campaign “Talking is Teaching: Talk, Read, Sing” provides you with early literacy resources to help you further your goals of empowering parents and enriching the lives of young children.
Libraries are a welcoming and safe place for everyone and you can help ensure this message gets across to your patrons from the very beginning. Learn ways you can practice inclusivity in storytime and throughout your library.
Head of Youth Services and #weneeddiversebooks advocate Angie Manfredi gives you 10 children’s book picks to diversify your storytimes.
Looking for the next new tech tool to add to your makerspace? See how School Librarian of the Year Todd Burleson is using drones to engage students and teach coding in his classroom.
Searching for ways to make your librarian resume stand out to hiring managers? Look no further for the answers to all your questions.
Show students how fascinating following their interests can be with these engrossing nonfiction activities that teach how-to and how-do!
We asked five libraries to tell us about how this one product helped them do more with their media collection. See what they had to say.
As a follow-up to his popular Book Doctor blog posts, expert John Ison answers your specific book repair questions, both common and unique. Learn how to remove a grease stain, fix the spine on a children’s book and what to do when your cat attacks your paperwork.
Library content marketing expert Angela Hursh answers librarians’ questions about how to ramp up their library’s newsletters. You’ll learn the best content to include, how to find it, and the most effective way to distribute your newsletter.
Inspire kids to get involved and help others in their community with fun volunteering activities for your summer reading program.
There’s no reason why you should stumble through your library career! Get tips on how to find a professional mentor and how to become one yourself.
Ah, teenagers! They’re a unique age group with their own wants, needs and one-of-a-kind personalities. How can you reach them? Create a space that offers them comfort, creativity, socializing and exploration. See top picks in teen seating.
The Demco Makerspace Survey revealed the pain points many librarians have with starting and running a makerspace, but it also revealed some great advice for meeting those challenges head on. See what your peers had to say about their makerspaces and get tips and pointers.
Teen Tech Week is March 5-11 and master maker Diana Rendina has got you covered. Diana shares 5 makerspace projects that will inspire teens to become change agents in their communities while practicing the design process.
Celebrate Women’s History Month in March by highlighting the struggles and accomplishments of women throughout history. Use this book list to break stereotypes and inspire and motivate students to follow their dreams.
Renovated and expanded in 2015, the Schreiner Memorial Library (WI) was smartly designed to serve the community’s current and future needs. See why it was named Library of the Year from the Wisconsin Library Association in 2016.
When this elementary teaching veteran read about the benefits of flexible seating in classrooms, she just knew she had to try it. Learn why she cleared 30 desks out of her room and replaced them with flexible seating and why she’ll never go back.
Libraries are known for offering equitable access to their services. To ensure that everyone, including the LGBTQ+ community, feels welcome in your library, follow Jessica Jupitus’s 10 tips for creating a welcoming and inclusive environment.
Measuring the impact of programs and services is a challenge, but it can be done. Learn how a library partnership and data sharing can get you started.
A year ago we published the first Adult Engagement calendar. Each month was filled with seeds of inspiration and ideas for programs of interest for your adult patrons. It has been a fun experience, and I’m amazed by how many interesting and obscure things there are to celebrate.
Prepare to be fascinated by the 2016 Paralibrarian of the Year. Winner Brown Biggers shares how his IT role makes important connections with students and faculty at UNCG’s academic library.
Read how the Gail Borden Public Library won the 2016 Upstart Library Innovation Award for taking traditional library summer reading programs in an exciting new direction.
Matthew Winner of All the Wonders is here to help you get ready to ring in the new year at your library with January activities and books that are sure to put big smiles on kids’ faces!
If you’ve found time to watch any of the Demco-sponsored webinars, you know we are fortunate to partner with smart folks who share their expertise and experiences. What you may not have discovered is the archive of the questions attendees asked but were not always answered during the live session. Read on to find answers to questions on library space design.
Library Journal Mover and Shaker Sharona Ginsberg highlights the benefits of makerspaces in academic libraries and gives tips to start you on your way to success.
Do you wish your library’s marketing efforts were more effective, but you’re not sure what you’re doing wrong? Library marketing expert Angela Hursh shares 5 tips you can implement immediately to improve your library’s promotions and get results.
If you struggle to get community members in their 20s and 30s to use the library’s services, this post is for you! From partnering with a local pub to holding Punk Rock Aerobics in the library, Sacramento Central Library Manager Jessica Jupitus shows you how to design unique programs that speak to millennials and Generation X. Get ready to branch out and have some fun!
Learn how to evaluate your collection for diversity! Get diverse books and multicultural author suggestions, plus activities to help create a culture of inclusivity.
There has been a significant leap in adult programming and outreach. Read about 5 ways that libraries are pushing the envelope and leading the way in their communities.
Looking for ways to take STEM programming to the next level? Check out MeeperBOTS! These mobile-app-controlled motorized BOTS bring LEGOs® to life. Plus get a tried-and-true program that’s sure to capture kids’ interest.
Accomplished maker and educator Heather Lister provides you with sample projects and resources to incorporate the maker movement within your school, library or classroom (or all three!), with little to no technology requirements.
Have you ever wondered what to tell parents and caregivers when they ask “Is it ok to share digital picture books with my child?” Early childhood expert Elizabeth Stilwell helps answer this question and shares advice and resources for librarians and caregivers.
We asked renowned librarians and authors at the top of their game about their job advice for new librarians. What they said are things we can all learn from!
Want to get more buy-in from staff and added exposure for your maker programs? Children’s Librarian and maker extraordinaire Holly Storck-Post fills you in on the benefits of holding a maker program for the entire library staff.
Looking for ways to use the littleBits Synth Kit? Director Mary Glendening shows you how to emulate one of the most popular littleBits programs held at CreateSpace@MFL, located in the Middletown Free Library. Learn the step-by-step directions for running the program at your own library and encouraging kids and teens to invent music with littleBits.
What makes for a positive library user experience? What strategies and products can help? Read the blog post and browse a helpful idea gallery.
Are you entertaining thoughts of ditching Dewey and exploring subject-based classification in your library? Nationally Board Certified Librarian and Mover and Shaker Tiffany Whitehead gives you tips and tricks to help you start genrefying your library.
Learn how Skype can help create authentic, real-world learning experiences in the library. Plus, discover new ways to reach out for World Read Aloud Day!
Engaging a reluctant reader can be a challenge, but Mo Willems is here to help! Supplement his engaging books with these Elephant and Piggie activities.
Join the conversation! Madison Public Library staff reflect on the organization’s recent successes and plans for future community outreach programs and service.
Mover and shaker Emily Ellis offers ideas for getting the whole family involved in STEAM activities through Tinker Day at the library, plus find out how your library can can leverage the popularity of Pokémon GO!
What’s on the horizon for your book clubs and adult library programs? Need inspiration? Demco’s Angie Schoeneck talks unconventional book clubs. Plus, the September and October calendars will spark new ideas!
Reading aloud every day can have a big impact on a child’s future success. Join Read Aloud 15 MINUTES and share this literacy program with your community.
Hand this September calendar full of early literacy activities to parents and you’re giving them a valuable tool for sharing learning with their kids every day.
Quicksand, black holes and tsunamis — oh my! Combine attention-grabbing topics with engaging STEM activities and books, and draw in even the most reluctant readers.
Support young patrons’ literacy development and confidence through artistic expression with The Picture Show — an easy program for any library or classroom to implement.
How well is your library meeting patrons where they are and understanding customer needs? Read this ALA session recap to check yourself.
Kendra Jones and Cory Eckert, creators of Storytime Underground, share multicultural activities, books, songs, rhymes and resources for creating diverse storytimes.
Back to School Month, Family Fun Month and more — use these August activities to help kids soak up the last days of summer and get excited for back-to-school fun!
Library Journal Mover and Shaker Colleen Graves discusses design thinking and making and provides project ideas to get started tinkering with littleBits™ in your library and creating a community of makers!
The way college library spaces are designed to meet the variety of students’ needs has evolved considerably. Read one university’s story.
Library makerspaces come in many forms and offer places to tinker, develop work skills or invent. What are your makerspace goals? Check out 4 essential considerations and the latest products.
America Recycles Day is the perfect time to start a global collaboration project that gives schools and libraries authentic opportunities to learn and make connections beyond their walls.
Participating in National Voter Registration Day on September 27 is a win for your library. EveryLibrary advisor Nicole Powell gets you ready!
Negativity in the workplace is catching, but even one person can change the equation and channel a healthy, uplifting environment for all! For all the details, read this Library Advice column from experienced library professional Cathy Hakala-Ausperk.
Four County Career Center has found the perfect tool for supporting teen parents in teaching early literacy skills — The Very Ready Reading Program.
Ready to embrace functional space both indoors and out? Get ideas from the Nashville Public Library on how to create an amazing outdoor space and discover ways to bring the outdoors inside.
Your physical space is one of your library’s biggest assets. Wi-Fi tracking technology can help you visualize how patrons are interacting with that space, as well as inform new library programs and space changes.
There’s immense value in library professional development, especially for those new to the field. Read all that one librarian gained from attending her first ALA conference, and get re-energized by your own development and networking opportunities.
The teens involved in every step of the planning process for The Mix helped make this teen zone the place to be. Explore the results as Manager Cathy Cormier takes us on a virtual tour of the multiple areas of SFPL’s teen zone, their uses and the tools they feature.
With the proper circulation, protection and repair (CPR) solutions for book care, your collection lives on. Check out strategies for reviving materials.
Even the most reluctant readers are drawn in by the excitement of extreme sports! Discover STEM project ideas that will kick-start kids’ enthusiasm and test their engineering skills.
Guaranteed you’ll be more dialed into your community’ changing needs after reading Part II of our interview with Library Director Kate Hall. She shares community engagement strategies that have made her library a transformation agent.
It can be downright hard to land a library job. Cathy is here to help you ace your next interview.
By collaborating with Reach Out and Read clinics to improve early literacy from birth, your library can have a greater impact on the lives of the children in your community.
This guide is a must-have for librarians — chock-full of kid and adult coloring tips from tried-and-true programs across the country! Plus, the coloring contest winners are announced!
Dealing with college students and stress? Get down with the ABCs of de-stressing! It’s easy to get started — all of these activities are budget-friendly and simple to set up.
As centers of learning, college libraries are reinventing their spaces to facilitate just about anything students may dream up. Hear from 2 academic librarians about higher education makerspaces and design labs.
Digital citizenship is a critical literacy for today’s students to master, and the library is a natural place to do it. With these online and print resources, you can create digital citizenship lessons that help students learn to act safely and responsibly, with courtesy and respect, in the digital world.
Your library’s summer reading program has been helping kids stem the summer slide and fostering a love of reading for years. If you’re looking for ways to shake things up and enhance the learning opportunities for your program, look no further!
What library makerspace tools and activities will be the most effective and the most engaging for your users? Get the crowd-sourced answers!
Long-time artist or new to the color craze? It doesn’t matter — anyone can use these tips to bring some serious coloring therapy to their community.
Change is afoot in the world of library programming and services for adults. A recurring theme of limited resources and the need for ideas emerged from our conversations, with many seeking help and guidance, information and resources. This prompted us to take action.
From providing comfort and integrating technology to offering flexibility, learn about ideas to make library collaborative spaces great.
Who can answer your tough library questions? Try Cathy. This experienced library professional has seen it all. She takes your most pressing questions and offers the straight-talking answers you can really use! In this debut column, get staff motivation and meeting advice.
Social and emotional skills play an important role in a child’s academic success. As an educator, you can use the friendship stories children gravitate towards to help them make connections, gain confidence and engage in learning.
The spectacular early literacy programming at Redwood City Public Library has established the institution as a leader in education and outreach, passionately supporting childhood development and literacy in their community.
Got pencil, crayon or ink marks in your books? Dirty covers? How about gum? The Book Doctor will teach you how to properly clean your books.
Have you been wanting to add a STEAM program to your library’s list of events but think it might be too expensive or too difficult to plan? Think again! In this blog post, Terry Ehle shares the inspiration you need to get started.
Your library is an important resource for your community — get the word out! Learn all about how the Take Your Child to the Library Day initiative started, discover how to get involved, and explore engaging program ideas, past success stories and online resources.
High acidity and books don’t mix, but what do you do about it? The Book Doctor to the rescue. Learn about book repair and why the right pH is so important.
Raise awareness of your library’s services in your community and find ways to reach underserved populations with the 3 Ps of library outreach, a formula to help you plan your next outreach event and partner with community service providers for maximum impact.
Let library advocacy crusader, Patrick Sweeney help you get your library’s message out. Who knew bar coasters could prompt more library visits?!
Wordy, unclear or unconvincing messages are a snore. Find out how your library can use data and a 27, 9, 3 elevator pitch to arrive at an effective message.
6 Myths About Diversity in Early Childhood Storytimes (and How We Can Read Diverse Books in Our Library’s Storytime Now)
Our population is becoming more and more diverse, with the youngest generation leading the way. We owe it to all our readers to offer diverse books during storytime, deepening the connections we are making and furthering our goal of building a solid reading foundation.
What do you do if the cover of a book falls off? Hint: The right kind of book binding repair tape matters. In part 2 of this post, the Doc shows you what to do.
When children are not given opportunities to experience language through books and other interactions, disparities develop that can last a lifetime. Pediatrician Dr. Navsaria teaches us how to combat this and empower parents!
Your library’s role in the community is evolving. However, people may not understand this. Plus, if your library is trying to be everything to everyone, you’ll end up being nothing to anyone. See why it’s so important for your library to have a message and learn how to get the word out.
Hardbound books can take quite a beating, but sometimes you’ll need to step in for some book binding repair. In this post, the Doc repairs a broken hinge.
“Play is really the work of childhood.” Fred Rogers was right — incorporating STEAM into preschool storytimes sets a strong foundation for future learning.
International Dot Day celebrates mentorship and its power to foster self-discovery, creativity and courage. How will you inspire and encourage this year?
Oh, yes librarians like to have fun! See if you can spot what’s wrong with this picture for a chance to win a book repair package. Contest expires 9/4/15.
Deliver a powerful message to caregivers through the 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten program — books are all kids need to be ready for school!
Looking for a cost-effective, parent-led library program that can have huge returns on early literacy in your community? Get the lowdown on 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten and find out how easy it is to start this program in your library!
You’re in the fall swing of things and now is a great time to showcase your library’s many colors and programs. Get ideas for September activities, holidays and observances.
From fun displays to multimedia and guest speakers at your school, this list of reading strategies will help you win over kids and foster a love of reading.
Crack the code on what baby babbling really means. As babies make these noises, they’re making important progress toward language development: they’re literally finding their voice! Learn about the importance of encouraging baby babble and ways your storytime can do just that.
See how a downtown public library successfully walked the line between a city project and a library project with outstanding results. Read Slover Library’s story in their own words.
Children with developmental disabilities can struggle in traditional storytimes. As a result, their caretakers may avoid bringing them to library programs. Find out how you can help all families feel welcome and address children’s learning needs with sensory storytimes.
Get book repair lessons from the stacks to give your books the TLC they deserve. Plus, share your book repair questions and comments for personalized tips and troubleshooting advice.
From new ways to describe your library to how small spaces can have impact, get a first-person account of the top 5 takeaways from this year’s Library Journal Design Institute.
Join the founder of Bedtime Math, a nonprofit dedicated to helping kids love numbers, on her mission to weave math into summer learning.
The new Slover Library epitomizes a modern library, embracing both past and present. See why this library shines with flexible spaces, technology and more.
May is the perfect time to flex your reading muscles and reach even more readers with great new ideas, displays and resources! Catch up on all the holidays happening in May 2015.
Collaboration is the word! View the Demco panel presentation that addresses collaborative library spaces and provides examples of spaces that can work for varying budgets.
Borrow ideas from retailers’ visual merchandising playbooks to help your book displays gain more visibility, attract patrons and increase circulation.
With countless classic tales and tens of thousands of new children’s books published each year, selecting books for storytime can seem overwhelming. We’ve got just the fix. Gain helpful hints for choosing read-aloud books for your next storytime.
From encouraging fine motor movement to expanding vocabularies, art plays an important role in strengthening the skills our children need to succeed in the 21st century. Learn more about the benefits of incorporating art into storytimes and get 10 tips for talking to kids about art.
At the La Crosse Public Library in WI, children pretend to shop at a farmers market, tell stories on flannel boards and play parachute games. See how playtime at the library builds early literacy skills in a natural way and learn how you can create an engaging children’s environment, even on a budget.
Spring is in the air! Get crowd-pleasing and library-friendly ideas for April Fools’ Day, National Library Week and more. You may even learn about holidays and observances you didn’t know existed!
February is known for Valentine’s Day, but there’s so much more to do this month! Get great ideas for your library programming, such as celebrating Library Lovers Month, Black History Month and more.
Couldn’t make it to ALA MW 2015? Or, were you there and the details have become fuzzy? Demco’s Janet Nelson catches you up on the top 3 library takeaways from the 5-day conference.
In an ideal world, libraries would be able to offer an array of storytimes designed to meet the varying developmental needs of young children at different ages and stages. But, this isn’t always the case. Get tips on creating successful mixed-age storytimes for kids.
The Booth Library at Eastern Illinois University (EIU) could have held a film screening and called it a night. Instead the library team brought more depth to people’s lives. Read the story.
On average, Americans have 3 electronic devices on them or near them at all times. Eventually those devices need power. See how libraries are supporting this trend with charging stations and more.
Looking for a way to incorporate speaking and listening standards into projects? Look no further! See LibrarySparks’ tips for holding a student debate that draws on students’ reading, writing, and speaking and listening skills.
Nearly every library could use some extra funds to better serve their community! Discover grant writing tips that make writing library grants easier and more effective.
Imagine teens calling all the shots and adults letting them! Sound crazy? That’s the case at Mattoon Middle School in Mattoon, IL and librarian Anieta Trame prefers it that way. Read her story!
Children today are born as digital natives, surrounded by cell phones, televisions, tablets, computers and other media. See how one Youth Services Librarian is using storytimes to help parents find and use the best apps for early literacy learning.
Picture books capture children’s attention while building essential literacy skills. Get started with book recommendations, resources and a library lesson plan from LibrarySparks.
School librarians have the opportunity to position themselves as essential and irreplaceable. Read real stories about 2 associate professors who thought school librarians deserved more respect. Watch their advocacy video to see why principals appreciate school librarians.
According to researchers, children’s participation in unstructured playtime is crucial to laying a foundation for literacy success. Learn how to maximize the positive effects of play through storytimes and parent involvement.
See how librarians can promote early literacy skills through enriched storytimes. During these storytimes, librarians model activities that parents and caregivers can practice at home with their children to boost reading readiness.
Fall into some great ideas for kids, teens and adults alike with our November activity calendar! You’ll benefit from new angles to engage readers and your community with your library.
Educators have students take a second look and even a third look at texts. This deeper study of text is called close reading, and it’s helping prepare students to meet the text analysis requirements of the Common Core State Standards. But, how can you help students get the most out of close reading? Read this post to learn more about effective close reading strategies.
View a clever infographic showing survey results from real librarians about customers’ needs for digital content, community engagement and programming and what librarians are doing about it all.
In this first of 4 articles, find out how to use signage to enhance your spaces and reinforce your merchandising and service models. This blog post moves you closer to mastering the art and science of wayfinding and provides resources and ideas for effective and practical signage solutions for your library.
Sue McCleaf Nespeca, a youth services librarian and early childhood education expert, has traveled across the country to train librarians in research-based best practices for early literacy learning. During her travels, she heard a common plea: How could librarians incorporate best practices into storytimes? Learn more about how Sue turned research into action with The Very Ready Reading Program.
Sound familiar? Crucial need for family literacy services. Limited resources. See how a new storytime for kids approach was the solution for a Washington library.
What do your favorite clothing store and your library have in common? Answer: strategic displays — “merchandising” your collection stimulates interest. Master the art of display.
Studio 300 is Fountaindale Public Library’s answer to what their community needs in a space that allows creation and collaboration. While there is never a typical day at Studio 300, there is a common theme. Patrons use lab resources to curate, create and share their own stories.
Whether planning a space on your own or working with a design team, the elements you include work to bring a space to life. Appropriate colors, fabrics and finishes can also help a space stand the test of time.
Want budget-friendly library design ideas? Assessing what you have, rearranging furniture and applying a little creativity can go a long way to refresh your library. Guest bloggers, Dan Meehan and Renee Moldovansky with HBM Architects provide new insights into assessing the possibilities in your library.
Solve the mystery of what books to recommend to your inquisitive young readers with these fiction and nonfiction children’s mystery book recommendations.
Start a conversation about bullying while teaching students crucial literacy skills. Get 10 children’s book recommendations and a free library lesson plan to introduce young readers to the concept of bullying.
Recent research in education, cognitive psychology and neuroscience show music and literacy go hand in hand. Find out how music is essential for building early literacy skills.
Connect with resources to effectively market your library services, including ideas on how library staff can make positive contributions to marketing efforts.
Strategic signage and graphics go a long way in helping people know where they are and where they’re going. It’s the foundation for efficiency, self-empowerment and a positive experience. Learn more about the art and science of wayfinding.
While the neuroscience behind language acquisition and reading readiness is complex, the pathway to early literacy development is not. All a child needs is a caregiver with basic instruction on some purposeful activities that can be consistently worked into everyday activities.
Madison Public Library in Wisconsin has developed a flexible model that suits the needs of their community well and can also be deployed in their branch libraries. Tana Elias shares insights surrounding the development of their program and what they are learning from their program.
As libraries continue their shift to dynamic community centers, they’re linking residents to information, services, technology and other people within their own community and globally.
Execution of an interior space renovation is never seamless. However, after completing proper planning and taking several steps in the implementation process, you can feel confident to complete it as a DIY project.
Beginning an interior renovation project can be an overwhelming endeavor that might seem impossible to complete as a DIY project. However, by following a series of simple steps, libraries can feel confident in making interior space changes that will meet the evolving needs of their customers.
Library co-ops and consortiums have long been utilized to leverage purchasing power particularly for electronic resources, databases and basic library needs. Today’s more collaborative efforts take this resource sharing one step further by increasing the benefits to all libraries involved — allowing them to go beyond what each could accomplish on their own.
A friendly staff, welcoming space, technology and interesting programs make your library space a desirable destination for teens. Teens want a place for self-guided, interest-driven learning — a place of exploration that is intertwined with sharing and learning from others.
Hawthorne Elementary’s library was only 10 years old when they realized that if they wanted to stay relevant amidst rapid change, they needed to take a good look at their space, resources and what their students and faculty needed. It was time to refresh their space.
Fundraising campaigns that tap the private sector or leverage partnerships with other community agencies are becoming more common — and they’re a great way for libraries to expand their services beyond what traditional funding sources might allow.
With today’s technology we can collaborate anytime, anywhere, and with anyone around the globe. We need spaces that elevate working collaboratively. For libraries, providing furniture that supports group work or a white board and monitor on the wall of a study room are a good start.
For many people, libraries remain synonymous with books. They are unaware of the innovative programs, services, resources and appealing spaces available for people of all ages. This article focuses on ways you can strengthen your position in the community and increase awareness about all you offer.
Increasingly, we are all faced with self-service. From gas stations and grocery stores, to online transaction processing, we deal with technology in many environments. Implementing circulation technology can be a springboard to making other long-overdue changes.
Collection acquisition and management remains a significant component of library operations. Prepping materials at the outset to withstand the unknown elements of circulating life will reduce the need for repairs later.
Over the past ten years, planning and designing children’s libraries has shifted from being book-centric to multidimensional spaces that include imaginative play areas, guided explorations, gaming zones and media centers with a variety of technologies.
Undergoing a major remodel in 2009, the Poplar Creek Public Library worked with their existing 44,000-square foot building, more than doubling their space to 96,000 square feet with an addition, while keeping the needs and desires of their residents in mind.
Getting ready to undergo a complete remodel, the Barrington Area Library is looking forward to completely rethinking the layout of their library and innovating within their existing building shell. Even without going through this full scale plan, it is obvious that library staff continually innovate and try new things throughout their spaces.
Though it is housed in a relatively new building (2002), the Ela Area Library continues to actively update their spaces and services to keep pace with the ever changing needs of their customers.
Visual merchandising has become a hot topic in 21st century libraries. As the focus shifts from warehousing materials to creating spaces for people, a change in emphasis surrounding the visual impact of the library makes sense. We all like to feel welcome in the spaces that we frequent, and the visual appearance of each space often elicits an emotional response.
The Barclay School was built in the 1950s, and the most recent update to the library had taken place in 1993 when the carpet was replaced and the black steel shelving was painted white. This project provided the DEMCO Interiors design team with the challenge of creating an inviting age- and size-appropriate library environment for the school’s second- and third-grade students on a small budget.
With a bit of imagination, we have found that it is possible to do a little refreshing and get more mileage out of a space that has become dated or is less than inspiring. Even though it isn’t always the ultimate solution, a modest investment can often make enough of a difference to start prompting other changes.
Recent visits to several Chicago-area libraries demonstrated that innovation can take a variety of forms. Technology is the most obvious, but we also discovered many other ways the library is innovating to better serve their customers and remain viable long into the future.