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Libraries are transforming as education evolves.

They have always been a rich resource of knowledge and information, but today libraries are transforming into places of experience and discovery. From quiet reading spaces to fully-fledged learning hubs, libraries are the heart of any school.

The world is changing, and ways of learning and teaching have evolved to meet a range of learning styles. This is where libraries are coming into their own, helping students learn the important skills they need now and in life beyond school. Skills like critical thinking, effective communication, creativity and collaboration.


Creating an flexible and inviting library space encourages student ownership, increasing engagement.

With a multitude of activities typically being conducted at any given time, flexible spaces sit at the centre of modern libraries. Students transition seamlessly between quiet reading, collaborative research, STEM activities or digital discovery, exploring and engaging along the way. Multi-use, mobile furniture helps libraries morph into functional and inviting spaces that students make their own – consequently increasing engagement. We’re hearing from schools globally that when libraries transform, students develop a high level of pride in, and connection with, the new space, and their desire to learn rises.

“Mike the principal said he always wanted our library to be the heart of the school and I think it’s a good way of putting it.”

Denise Hocquard – Librarian at Te Mata Primary School.

St. Therese's Primary School redesigned their library to accommodate multiple activities, including STEM.

Dixons Allerton Academy in Bradford, UK reported that book loans increased 400 percent when the library transformed into a more holistic learning environment with an increased digital and technology footprint. It’s this combination of traditional resources with strong digital/technology offerings that is leading to increasingly positive attitudes to learning – but the need for digital literacy cannot be overlooked.


“just to be able to have the space to spread out, to do a variety of activities, anything can be accomplished in this space. “

Helen Hancock - Grade 5 teacher at St. Therese’s Primary School, VIC.

With so much digital information on offer, libraries and school staff play an important role teaching students how to navigate fact from fiction.

In a world of, often questionable, information overload it’s become important for learners to effectively evaluate information. Libraries with rich digital offerings, supported by the necessary infrastructure, are enormously valuable. Of course, it’s about more than the resources and infrastructure - teachers and library staff play a pivotal role in bringing everything to life.

Teachers and library staff are working much more closely together. Librarians help students to discover and assess material, as well as offering important support to teachers to ensure the best resources are available to support curriculum learning. Modern libraries encourage connections at every level, making learning natural, effective and fun.

“there’s lots of space in the library and we can do things we can’t do in a normal classroom”.

Derron - Student at St. Therese's Primary School, VIC.

What do you want your library to be? Every school has unique needs, however, there are some key considerations when it comes to design thinking.

Furnware is working with schools around the world to transform their libraries into warm, inviting learning hubs where students and teachers want to linger. Some schools are making major changes, while others are making more tightly focused adjustments – but all are creating engaging spaces that meet their own pedagogy and curriculum requirements. Whatever the approach, we’ve observed a number of key design, resource and furniture considerations that will help you create the library you desire, to suit a range of ages. We've compiled our findings into a helpful document that you can download below. 


Be inspired:


Take a look at the Pinterest board on libraries for innovative designs from around the world. 

A passionate approach to library design – from a simple idea to an exhilarating movement. An amusing TED talk by designer and teacher Michael Bierut.

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