Designing and furnishing university and public libraries can be uniquely challenging with the vast amount of needs the space must support. Libraries are a place where individual studying, group studying, collaboration, events and trainings, and much more all occur. Each of these use types have vastly different requirements when it comes to environment, privacy, and the need for comfort and focus.
Many university libraries simply provide private study rooms to try to meet the demand for many of these uses. However, a major downside to private study rooms is that they’re more expensive to build, and take up more space than other solutions. Private study rooms can also make the user feel on-display through the glass doors and windows, or even feel unhelpful pressure to make the most of their time when rooms are required to be reserved.
Providing more open-table seating isn’t always the answer either. Here at Agati, we’ve devoted a lot of time to understanding human behavior and have often seen this lead to the “lost seat” factor.
Typically, the first seat to become occupied at an empty table is the middle seat. In this middle seat, users have table space on both sides and in front of them to buffer strangers and maintain a personal bubble. The next seats to fill are those on the corners on the opposite side of the table. For these seats, there is a middle seat buffer, and the table space in front creates distance between the user in the middle seat across from them.
These unused seats are essentially lost seats. They take up space without being used.
Popular Benefits of Using Library Partitions
Instead of creating completely-separated environments that are dry, stale, uninspiring, and unable to meet the demand for unique study spaces, Agati has been working hard to innovate ways to break up larger spaces into usable individual and group spaces for students.
Each of these solutions include forms of partitions, which have emerged as an invaluable asset in the design and functionality of modern libraries. Movable partitions offer great flexibility, enabling librarians and administrators to easily reconfigure spaces to cater to a diverse range of activities, from quiet individual study to collaborative group work. On the other hand, static partitions provide stability and permanence, creating dedicated areas and ensuring sound insulation for more consistent user needs.
This combined approach not only maximizes available space but can also lead to significant cost reductions—instead of investing in major renovations or extensions as the needs of the library evolve, partitions provide an economical solution to allow existing spaces to be repurposed efficiently.
Our team of experts work with universities, colleges, community colleges, public libraries, and more to solve their unique challenges based on space capacity and budget. Some great solutions for creating a space for individual and group spaces are below:
When the idea for our FrameWork Mobile Partitions first started to hit our team, we were at a university library watching students create their own private workspaces using whiteboards. The result we saw was clunky, but the students made it work.
FrameWork is a whiteboard on wheels that expands on the typical features of a mobile whiteboard, especially in the area of durability and functionality. FrameWork has remarkable sturdiness, features sound-blocking technology, glides easily, and has a modern customizable finish.
FrameWork can be used to create adjustable workstations for students, no matter the need.
Chairs with walls create small private spaces within a public space. The Gee Cove is highly customizable and is a perfect solution for individual work or collaboration between a couple people. With this solution, the footprint in your floor plan is minimized while you can maximize the availability of individual work areas. With the high acoustic panel walls, it will both block out noise and keep your noise in.
The Gee Cove gives the right amount of privacy and security to focus all day. With the added benefit of charging options built-in, students won’t have to move just to charge their devices.
POD and POD Duo: Creating Haven and Focus
The POD Single and POD Duo are our modern solution to study carrels. As humans, our need to feel secure is natural. These innovative side-entrance study carrels elevate furniture design to truly provide privacy and increase focus potential by turning the carrel 90-degrees and placing the seat inside the three walls. By doing this, study carrels promote higher productivity and become more inviting for university students looking for space in the library to complete their work.
Higher productivity, comfortable seats, feels as secure as a study room, but costs much less? Count us in!
The University of Massachusetts Medical School utilized the POD in a serpentine layout to create a visual design element to the space and make the most of their floor plan. No study room reservations necessary!
Much like the individual Gee Cove, the Gee Cove Pinwheel increases the amount of private seating in a given area while still maintaining the sense of privacy by arranging them in a pinwheel formation.
Four people have independent coves in cozy upholstered lounge chairs making the Gee Pinwheel perfect for universities and libraries. Facing different directions, each guest has their own tablespace, optional power access, and line of sight. The high wall panels further reduces visual and auditory distractions to create a private, serene space to study.
Looking for even more solutions? Message one of our experts to work with you to find the right solution for your space.