Library Spaces
Has your library undergone a recent renovation, or perhaps you are fortunate enough to be in a new library space? Have you created a unique learning area in your library that the kids just love? Share photos and information to foster thinking about rearranging/redesigning library spaces. The photo could be of a just one area; your whole library; some unique signage or furniture; a picture of your dream library found on the Internet; or a "problem" area in your library in need of some ideas.

Please post thumbnails only on this wiki, and link to a larger photo that resides somewhere else (you can upload it to: or link to your own Flickr, Picasso, website etc.)
Library Name
Resources or Thumbnail Photo

Kids Republic Bookstore

Amazing playground inspired children’s bookstore, designed by SAKO architects, is located in Beijing, China. The walls of are covered with bookshelves and round windows double as relaxing reading areas.
Allen Centre
Outram, New Zealand
I first learned about this library through Twitter, and it was love at first sight. It houses the Outram school's library collection, but there is obviously lots more going on there as well. Their aim is to "light the spark of imagination and possibility in children, as well as to feed their passion for discovery and learning." If you want to see engaged learners, check out their interactive displays. (Nancy Alibrandi)
The Allen Centre for Information and the Arts
Children's Room
Brentwood, TN
Walking into this children's library is like taking a walk into a park - complete with trees, murals, animals, etc. Not to be missed is an entry archway of "Once Upon a Time" books, a welcoming owl, and a flat screen telling some of the area's history. You may have seen it featured in American Libraries Magazine in the April 2010 issue. (Nancy Alibrandi)

Tour of the Brentwood Public Library , TN library (children's room is featured from 0:56-2:03)
Learning Spaces
Interesting blog posts from Teaching and Learning in the Digital Age which examine the effects of color, lighting, music and animals on learning. (Nancy Alibrandi)
7 Tips for Building Collaborative Learning Spaces
Although written with colleges and universities in mind, these design considerations would be helpful for every library to keep in mind. (Nancy Alibrandi)
7 tips for Building Collaborative Learning Spaces from Campus Technology
Ohio Recommendations
Recommendations for School Library Media Center design developed by the Ohio Educational Library Media Association in 2007. (Nancy Alibrandi)
Library Media Center Recommendations for the Ohio School Design Manual
Library -
The Learning Hub
Bangkok, Thailand
Check out this spectacular library space featured in this Flickr photostream (54 photos) by superkimbo in BKK. (Nancy Alibrandi)
Reading photo by superkimbo in BKK available under Creative Commons license.
More photos here.

Monarch Academy Library

Oakland, CA

This is my 7 year old library at a K-5 Charter School. (Keisa Williams)
Inside Monarch Library
Monarch Academy Library Displays
Laptops in the Library
Digital Storytelling in the Library
The Open Library
Bangalore, India
"Centre for Learning, a school in Bangalore has an open library both in concept and reality. This means that there is free and open access to all material and resources, at all times of day and night, and throughout the year. Mutual trust and shared responsibility provide the ground from which this library functions." (Nancy Alibrandi)
The Open Library - Bangalore, India
Library 2.0: Enter the Teacher Librarian Enthusiast
What will the new school library look like? Here's a two-part article by Natasha Wanchek that appeared in The Journal that explores the changing roles of libraries and librarians. (Nancy Alibrandi)
Library 2.0: Enter the Teacher Librarian Enthusiast
Part Two: Library 2.0: 8 Tips from Teacher Librarians
Chelmsford High School Learning Commons
Chelmsford, MA
New 'Learning Commons' defies commonplace - article in Boston Globe about Chelmsford's High school library being revamped.

Not convinced? See dramatic before and after pictures in Valerie Diggs Slideshare.

Intrigued by the idea of a Learning Commons? Check out this YouTube video tour.
(Nancy Alibrandi)
From Library to Learning Commons Slideshare

YouTube Video Tour
Concord-Carlisle High School Learning Commons
Dreaming Big - Completing the Transition to a Learning Commons

Close the Library? A guest post on Doug Johnson's Blue Skunk Blog by Robin Cicchetti about their transition from a traditional school library to a learning commons.

CCHC Learning Commons Glog
(Nancy Alibrandi)
Slideshare - MSLA Learning Commons Panel Discusion
Chapin Elementary Library Virtual Tour
This library has some nice dedicated spaces for various activities - (beginning about 1 minute into the video). (Nancy Alibrandi)
Chapin Elementary Library Virtual Tour on Vimeo
Prospect Sierra ES Library Tour
Nice bright open sun-lit space in this K-4 library. (Nancy Alibrandi)
Prospect Sierra ES Library Tour on YouTube
O.P. Earle Elementary School Library Media Center
Virtual Tour of the OP Earle Elementary School library media center in South Carolina (a short commercial appears first unless you log in as a member of Teacher Tube). Love the idea of a Reading Garden. (Nancy Alibrandi)
OPE Virtual Tour on TeacherTube
Queen's Learning Common
This 7.5 minute video is a great example of various departments partnering to form a learning commons. Are there departments you can partner with to benefit students? (Nancy Alibrandi)
Queen's Learning Commons Video Tour on YouTube
Library Redesign Prezi by Ray Palin
This Prezi was given at the New Hampshire School Library Media Association conference in May 2010 by Ray Palin. It's definitely worth looking at because he includes before and after pictures as well as how he developed and presented budget proposals to transform his high school library - his ideas can definitely be adapted to elementary situations. (Nancy Alibrandi)
Library Redesign: Pursuing the physical and virtual learning commons by changing floor space and web content
Rethinking Learning Spaces
"Developing the habitats that will foster the desired habits starts with an honest view of your current learning spaces against your vision of learning. In other words, what does it mean to be well-educated and how do our spaces support this vision?" This article suggests going on a walk-about with 3 administrators, 3 teachers, and 3 students, and offers some helpful suggestions and steps towards rethinking learning spaces. (Nancy Alibrandi)
Habits and Habitats: Rethinking Learning Spaces for the 21st Century by Ryan Bretag
Information Commons
"What exactly is an information commons? Just a new name that institutions give to renovated library spaces? A library reference area that has been spruced up with new furniture and equipped with a large number of computer workstations? Or something more?...This chapter explores the concept of the information commons, describes some of its features, and focuses on the links between information commons and learning."
Learning Spaces - Chapter 7
Linking the Information Commons To Learning by Joan K. Lippincott
Apple Store
What can educators learn from the successful design principles of the Apple Store? This abridged article outlines the essential features of the Apple Store's learning culture that has ' created a new type of learning environment that allows individuals to learn anything, at any time, at any level, from experts, expert practitioners, and peers." Includes a link to the original 11 page article.
(Nancy Alibrandi)
At the Core of the Apple Store: Images of Next Generation Learning by Elliot Washor, Charles Mojkowski and Loran Newsom
Mt. Gilead, OH
Here are some pictures of a Library Makeover in Mt. Gilead, OH as featured in the School Library Monthly blog. (Nancy Alibrandi)
Library Makeover: Mt. Gilead, OH
Shoestring Makeovers
Looking to make some changes on a limited budget? Ian McLean blogs about making renovations to his Australian elementary library - check out the "Shoestring Makeover" tab. He includes lots of before and after pictures. In the Spring of 2010, his portable trailer library was taken away, and a new library is being built - "Check it Out!" (Nancy Alibrandi)
Shoestring Makeovers
Check It Out - Again!
Messing Library
Middle School Library at MICDS
YouTube video of changes at the Messing Library. (Nancy Alibrandi)
Change of Space
Messing Library Trailer 2010-2011
Crisafulli Elementary School
The layout in this circular library was changed to create designated areas for different activities. The new layout is called the "Library Commons." (Nancy Alibrandi)
Library Layout Lauded
Toorak College
Mt. Eliza, Australia
This blog article by Jenny Luca outlines the process they used to design a more functional library space. The article includes a floor plan of their design using a free online tool called Floorplanner. (Nancy Alibrandi)
Reinventing Our Library Space - what did we do?
Creating a Library for the Future - Part Two!
SLJ - Looks Like Teen Spirit
School Library Journal article, "Libraries for Youth are Changing - thanks to teen input" by Kimberly Bolan offers tips for sprucing up teen spaces. (Nancy Alibrandi)
Libraries for Youth are Changing - thanks to teen input
DEMCO offers a .pdf brochure called Inspiring Spaces...Teen Places which may give you some visual inspiration and an idea of various furnishings that are available for updating your library space. (Nancy Alibrandi)
Inspiring Spaces...Teen Places
ALA | AASL L4L Building Level Toolkit
Physical Space
Includes powerpoint presentations and online resources to transform the physical space in your library to meet AASL's learning and program standards as outlined in Empowering Learners: Guidelines for School Library Programs. Part of the Building Level L4L (Learning4Life) Toolkit.
(Nancy Alibrandi)
Transforming the Physical Space of the Library
Here's a video introducing the Innovation, Design, and Engagement Area (IDEA) at the Center for Teaching and Learning Design. Has much in common with the learning commons model for libraries. Click here for photos. (Nancy Alibrandi)
Habits and Habitats: Introducing the IDEA10 min. YouTube video highlighting some design considerations for learning spaces
School Libraries Project - Capitol Hill
This website shows the transformation of eight elementary and middle school libraries into vital learning spaces. (Nancy Alibrandi)
School Libraries Project
Library and Media Center Facilities Design K-12 - lots of resources from the National Clearinghouse for Educational Facilities (Nancy Alibrandi)
NCEF Resource Lists
Designing Digital Libraries
Doug Johnson's blog post "Some Design Considerations" (when Building or Remodeling a Media Center) has a great list of questions for the planning committee and the architect. (Nancy Alibrandi)
Some Design Considerations
Shelf Consumed Blog
North Texas Area Library Administrators group discussed "What would we SEE in a 21st century school library?" (Nancy Alibrandi)
What Does a 21st Century School Library Look Like?
Think iCentre
Slideshare by Lyn Hay:
Rethink-Rebuild-Rebrand Think iCentre
(Nancy Alibrandi)
Rethink-Rebuild-Rebrand Think iCentre
21+ Ideas for 21st Century Libraries
Ideas for updating your library from Kimberly Bolan Cullin and Rob Cullin present at the 2010 NYLA Conference
(Nancy Alibrandi)
21+ Ideas for 21st Century Libraries
Divine Design: How to create the 21st-century school library of your dreams.
School Library Journal article by Margaret Sullivan. No funding information though. (Keisa Williams)
Divine Design: How to create the 21st-century school library of your dreams.
The Library as a Digital Learning Space
One of a 3 part article in The Journal that looks at the changing role of the K-12 library. This one features a high school library in Simsbury, CT that has found a way to incorporate the best of traditional and modern features. (Nancy Alibrandi)
School Library Design
A collection of articles about School Library Design curated by Leanne Windsor on (Nancy Alibrandi)
Learning Spaces
Great collection of library furniture, etc. - a Pinterest collection by Dianne McKenzie
(Nancy Alibrandi)
Glen Allen High
Watch this video for some great kid friendly features such as cafe seating, microwave & coffee pots; exercise bikes; gaming space; and lazy boy recliner for reading. (Nancy Alibrandi)
Library for Success
The New Learning Commons Where Learners Win!
Second edition of book by David V. Loertscher, Carol Koechlin, Sandi Zwaan, and Esther Rosenfeld (2011).
Companion website to book:
Marsh Middle School
Inspirational YouTube video about students taking back their library- plus a great glimpse at their space! (Nancy Alibrandi)
Favorite Furniture for Teens
Need some furniture to "wow" your teens? See this article by Bette-Lee Fox in Library Journal: Librarians Pick Their Favorite Furniture for Teens (Nancy Alibrandi)
Librarians Pick Their Favorite Furniture for Teens
How to Design Library Space with Kids in Mind
"Consider the aspects of space design that offer comfort and encourage learning, such as access to daylight, the use of natural materials, comfortable seating, and places that provide shelter (e.g., booths or nooks) and are composed of environmentally healthy finishes. Recognize that children appreciate those things, too." To learn more, read this article from Library Journal written by Traci Engel Lesneski. (Nancy Alibrandi)
How to Design Library Space with Kids in Mind
School Library Design Planning
Many articles about "designing a new library space" in this curated by Kim Marr. (Nancy Alibrandi)


A Librarian's Guide to Makerspaces: 16 Resources by Ellyssa Kroski
"Makerspaces, sometimes also referred to as hackerspaces, hackspaces, and fablabs are creative, DIY spaces where people can gather to create, invent, and learn." (Nancy Alibrandi)