In order to truly develop new library spaces I had to get the all of the books off of the shelves and strategically think about this redesign. I cleared out the books and just looked at the shelves to help give me an idea of how I could move them to best fit the needs of the students.
Goal: My goal was to create open spaces for students to read and collaborate in this area of the library.
Assessment: I assessed how many desktop computers were in the space and how they were used. There were previously seven desktop computers on one edge of this area. The staff and principal confirmed that these computers were rarely used, considering their is a lab right next to the library. I also had to assess how the plugs and ethernet cords could be stretched to create a new design. In addition, I created several open layout designs that would fit the students' collaboration needs.
Problem: These shelves proved to be extremely HEAVY. I thought that my husband and I would be able to move them, but I grew to learn that I wasn't nearly strong enough to move those shelves.
Solution: Luckily, my husband has extremely strong and kind friends. His friend showed great patience while I came up with a plan based on how the shelves looked when they were moved.
Problem #2: I also ran into a problem when I found out one of the shelves was bolted to the wall.
Solution #2: I had to redesign a space and keep that shelf where it was originally.
Here are some of my 'before' pictures:
The picture below was taken once I stripped all of the bulletin boards and posters. This was the original layout of the Easy Fiction section of the library.
The picture below shows the original fiction shelving layout. This is one of the first places library-goers see when they walk in - The back of a shelf! My goal was to open this area up and have it be used for a reading area with flexible seating and an area that promotes collaboration.
The slideshow below shows the process in which we moved these shelves. We had to clear off all the books and I had my super strong helpers do the heavy lifting!
I left the library feeling more accomplished than I have throughout this whole library redesign process... We rebooked the shelves with the new library design layout for fiction books. It looks PHENOMENAL. I even had some teachers come in and compliment how open and inviting the space looks from the doorway!
Here are some pictures to show our progress:
After finishing the redesign of one section of this library, I have to say... There is a reason these shelves have not moved for so many years... They are SO EXTREMELY DIFFICULT to move- mostly because of their length. The double sided shelves were nearly impossible to move without having scooters and strategic thinking. Overall, I'm so happy with the way these shelves have been moved to create an inviting feel while you are walking into the library.
A special thanks to my husband and his friend for their help moving these library shelves and make my vision come to life!