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Libraries are at the heart of a school, serving as central and vibrant hubs of knowledge, inspiration, and collaboration. They play an essential role in shaping the academic, emotional, and social development of students. Digitalisation has transformed the landscape of learning, but the importance of libraries in schools remains paramount, as they continue to be an invaluable resource centre that fosters a culture of community, critical thinking, and lifelong learning.

What is the purpose of a school library?

Library spaces should be engaging and inclusive, inviting students in and creating a welcoming environment. Enabling students to interact and engage with their surroundings encourages them to enjoy reading for pleasure, helping to develop their language, literacy and vocabulary skills. Having access to a broad range of books, reference materials, media and digital resources captures the varied interests and learning needs of students helping to develop essential communication skills. From access to information on classic literature to research into innovative AI technology, libraries should offer a space where students feel relaxed and inspired to discover more about the world around them and develop their knowledge beyond the classroom.

As ambassadors for inclusivity and accessibility, libraries offer an extended learning environment to provide equal opportunities for all students, regardless of their socioeconomic background or academic ability. Creating a comfortable space with a range of different seating options allows students to access educational materials and engage in self-directed learning. Cosy nooks and storytime mats are ideal for foundation stages to explore and engage with books as they begin their literacy journey, whereas collaborative breakout furniture or soft seating configurations allow primary students to interact with a range of media and their peers as they advance their personal growth and discover their individual interests. Technology hubs and quiet study spaces provide secondary students with a space to focus and carry out research, offering a place of retreat beneficial to well-being and an opportunity to discuss ideas in preparation for coursework or exams.

Consideration to the height of shelving units will ensure book storage is accessible and age appropriate, with kinderboxes and book spinners offering interest for younger students. Welcome counters are a great way to draw attention and direct students to a designated enquiry point to assist them with further information.

Design & Layout

The design and layout of a library space is influential not only in nurturing academic growth, but in promoting social and emotional well-being. Libraries can offer a sanctuary for students, as well as opportunities for social interaction and community engagement. Libraries offer a space to encourage a whole-school approach through participation in book clubs, storytelling sessions, or study groups; this develops interpersonal skills, empathy, and a sense of belonging, which are critical to preparing students for adult life.

Technology Hubs

Integrating technology into the library environment to create learning resource centres bridges the digital divide and promotes digital literacy skills. Libraries provide students with access to computers, internet connectivity, and educational software, empowering them to develop essential knowledge about online safety and equipping them with the digital skills required to be successful in the workplace.

Building blocks for lifelong learning

The importance of libraries in schools should not be understated. They are a key learning environment for students and serve as essential hubs to nurture learning and growth. Investing in a school library space demonstrates a commitment to improving the opportunities available to students and supporting them to become independent learners as they move into the next chapter of their personal development.

The Morleys Advantage

Libraries are a central hub for your school community, so we know how important it is to work in partnership with you to create a unique library that reflects the vision of your school and the needs of your students.

Morleys are design-led furniture suppliers and interior consultants who are at the forefront of innovative solutions for schools, shaping the future of library design. We want every student to experience the joy of reading in a safe, welcoming and stimulating environment.

If you have an education project in the pipeline and would like to know more about the benefits of working with Morleys and the service we offer as FF&E design consultants, please get in touch, we would love to hear from you.

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