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Specialty Library Furniture

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Specialty Furniture
In addition to traditional tables, chairs, study carrels, and desks, libraries have the need for specialty furniture. Types of specialty furniture include social area furniture, furniture that supports technology, children's furniture, and accessible furniture.

Social Area Furniture

Today's libraries are much more than the silent places of the past designed to collect, store, and access printed materials. Modern libraries cater to today's patrons by offering social areas for collaboration, group interaction, and relaxation. In addition to comfortable areas that allow students to quietly chat, more and more libraries are including coffee shops and lounges. As the types of social areas increase, furniture needs change. Social areas require comfortable yet durable sofas, loveseats, chairs, and tables, while coffee shops and lounges require tables and chairs that support socializing, eating and drinking, and quiet spaces to read, study, and use laptops and tablets.

Furniture that Supports Technology

Furniture must support the information technology needs of the modern library patron. Desks, tables, and other types of library furniture should include built-in power outlets and Internet ports to accommodate the use of electronics such as laptop computers, tablets, and smartphones.

Children's Furniture

Libraries that have young patrons must include tables, desks, study carrels, bookshelves, magazine racks, and seating that accommodate smaller users. Children's furniture enables children to easily reach books, magazines, and other media without adult help, and provides a comfortable place for them to use it. Children's furniture should be durable to withstand pint-sized wear and tear, and comes in a variety of colors designed to engage younger library users. Because children are beginning to use technology at a very early age, children's furniture being manufactured today often includes power outlets and Internet ports that allow children to use laptops and tablets.

children using a library
This photo depicts five children using a library, three of them sitting on child-sized chairs at a child-sized table, one of them lying on a rug reading a book, and one sitting on a rug listening to an audio program.

Accessible Furniture

The Americans with Disabilities Act requires that all public buildings, including libraries, adhere to the ADA Standards for Accessible Design. Accessible tables, desks, and study carrels ensure the accommodation of people in wheelchairs.
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Specialty Library Furniture