Modern libraries have different furniture requirements than those of just
ten years ago. The current library must integrate books, circulars,
electronic media, and computers. The needs of the population
are rapidly shifting toward more flexible space use and integration
of traditional media with new technologies. With the advent of the
Internet and the World Wide Web, information is more quickly accessed
and disseminated, and libraries traditionally housing bookshelves, tables
and chairs have had to adapt to the evolving needs of today's patrons.
While bookshelves have remained much the same for hundreds of years, other
library furniture has been dramatically changed. Tables have
undergone design innovations to keep up with Internet workstations and the
accompanying wiring. Typical card catalogues have been scrapped in
favor of online information databases. Study areas have been
changing from structured table and chair combinations to more of a lounge
setting so that users can spread out and comfortably access a world of
information through laptops and wireless networking.
Libraries require comfortable seating and couches, multifunctional tables,
and support systems for multimedia stations with printer kiosks, as well
as the traditional bookshelves, study tables, and counters. Library
furniture also requires flexibility. The next generation is more
likely to collaborate on projects, and the focus needs to be on furniture
that can be moved and changed around easily. Large reading tables
for students to spread out are necessary as well as private reading
carrels for traditional thinkers. Bookcases and circulation desks
should be sturdy and durable, have comfortable edges, and spacious storage.
Libraries must be prepared to accommodate changes in traditional furniture
setup as they move forward to become multimedia centers of the future.
Books on Library Shelves Surround a Student Seated at a Library Table
The following library design and furnishing companies have been carefully
selected for their experience in library planning and interior design,
and for the quality of library furnishings and accessories they offer.
Library Furniture Suppliers
Brodart is a full-service library supply company which offers a versatile selection of contract library furnishings.
Longo Libraries offers library planning and construction services as well as a host of library furniture options.