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Philosophy & Design Principles

BookSpace is an innovative shelving concept designed specifically for elementary schools.

It is a result of 3 years’ development where we took time to research the needs of school libraries, talking to principals, teachers and, most importantly of all, children. Our research told us that we need a concept that delivers the following:

  1. A library that puts reading at the heart of the school

    Reading is an essential life skill and teaching children to read is an important focus for all elementary schools. School principals and teachers increasingly recognize that as well as teaching the mechanics of reading, they need to encourage the motivation in children to read independently for their own pleasure. Research shows that children who read for pleasure not only do better at school but have enhanced social skills and improved life chances.

    Schools recognize the important role a library can play in promoting reading and literacy. BookSpace is designed to help libraries present reading positively to children by offering imaginative ways to showcase the books. A BookSpace library is visually appealing and sends out signals to children and parents that reading is important, raising the status of reading and putting it at the heart of the school.

    The space has provided a much‐needed resource for us. We are able to use it to back up the hard work our teachers are doing in the classroom in trying to change pupils’ attitudes to reading and it’s paying off. Many of the children are reading far more than they were a few months ago. Most can name several favourite authors if you ask them and the new reading space has a big part to play. It’s made reading and books fun in their eyes.” Principal from a school where BookSpace was installed in May 2013

  2. Furniture that makes the library a fun, interactive and playful space

    Schools want to transform children’s perceptions of library spaces and reading corners from ‘boring’ to ‘exciting’. BookSpace incorporates seating, play and display features, from interactive boards to archways, making the library more exciting and child‐centred. The feature Stacks are the same width as the shelving Stacks and can easily be interspersed among the shelves.

  3. A flexible system that is adaptable for a wide range of spaces

    The BookSpace modular system of upright units (called Stacks) works equally well in small and large spaces. BookSpace enables you to introduce new shapes such as curves and crosses, making it possible to create zones, hot spots and a flowing layout that will encourage children to browse and discover the library.

    • BookSpace has been installed in small library spaces to great effect, here we were presented with a plain, square room and with just 10 Stacks we have managed to create a library with lots of interest, shape and variety.

    • It's also easy to scale up BookSpace to work effectively in much larger spaces. Here is a plan showing BookSpace in a large rectangular space using 35 Stacks.

  4. A shelving system which enables libraries to move away from rows and rows of straight shelving

    BookSpace introduces new shapes such as curves, propellers and cruciforms making it possible to create zones, hot spots and an organic, flowing layout that encourages children to browse and discover the library. BookSpace utilize cleverly designed infill wedges and boxes which can be easily integrated into any design scheme.

  5. A choice of heights to meet the needs of children of different ages

    Too many school libraries have shelving all at the same height. This puts books out of the reach of smaller children or it makes the library feel too young for older students. Using the same internal components BookSpace can be built into three different heights.

  6. Shelving which maximises capacity and makes the books look good

    Children are intimidated by row upoun row of spine-out books and our research shows that if children can see the book's cover they are more likely to pick it up and read it. BookSpace has two sizes of shelf, large shelves for non-fiction and picturebooks and small shelves for fiction. Having the right size shelf for different book formats ensures that capacity is optimised and that the books look good. Both sizes of shelf are available as either spine-out or face-out, ensuring that schools can get a balance between display and a wide range of books.

To follow