Library Planning Research,  Space Planning

Library Space Planning

What is library space planning? The layout of a library is an important factor in creating a functional and efficient space that meets the needs of its patrons. Our team develops programs that analyze the relationships. This includes user activities and the organization of the library’s collections. Certainly, the library can help to promote productivity, collaboration, technology access, browsing and learning.

Library Programming

Creating an inventory of all activities and allocating a time and place for each function is an important step in organizing the layout and space of an academic library.

What are the activities that take place within the library? For example, types of individual work spaces (studying, research, group work, and leisure reading). New library functions including computers, technology, events, and workshops.

What user metrics do you use? What is needed for each library activity? Over the years, we have recorded library activities and the requirements for services. We help the library allocate enough space to accommodate each type of user activity.

During library space planning, we program and plan the location for each user activity. For example, this helps us determine if there is enough space quiet study. It helps us define the library staffs needs. Does your library have enough space?

We consider the physical layout of the library and how it can be used. Most importantly, we help enhance the functionality of the library space. For example, areas designated for group work can be designed to promote collaboration and interaction, while quiet study areas can be designed to reduce noise and distractions. Do you have enough meeting space in your library?

Futurist Example

When we begin a library space planning workshop, we share examples of innovation around the world. For example, the Yangzhou bookstore and library is a stunning example of how architecture and design can enhance the experience of reading and learning. They created a bookstore and space that is both functional and beautiful, the organization encourages visitors to engage with its collection and immerse themselves in the world of books.

The photo by Shao Feng Hsu below is a professional example of architectural photography. To see more of their work go to:


We were very impressed with the curved bookshelves that line the walls and ceiling. The library design creates a sense of movement and flow. For example, it was designed to draw visitors deeper into the space and encouraging them to explore the vast collection of books.

Atlas Obscura

According to Atlas Obscura “The tunnel leads to a children’s reading room. Here, a series of LED lights turns the ceiling into night sky freckled with stars that twinkle above bright, whimsical shelves.” Certainly, the arrangement should be studied. It creates a sense of order and organization. The books grouped by subject and arranged in alphabetical order.

The use of light is important element of the library’s design. The shelves are illuminated by light that creates a cozy atmosphere. The use of light helps to accentuate the curved lines of the shelves and walls, adding to the sense of movement and depth.

Library Consultant

It is important to regularly evaluate and update the inventory of activities in the library. When we complete our study the library can allocate spaces to ensure that the library is meeting the needs of its patrons and making the most efficient use of its space.

Next Generation Library

Contact Aaron Cohen Associates, ltd – Library Consultant and Planners.