The Modern Library

Whether you're designing a library for a Public, K-12, Academic or Specialty application, Brodart has furniture to support the evolving needs of librarians and patrons alike.



Library: Dictionary Definition 

A building or room containing collections of books, periodicals, and sometimes films and recorded music for people to read, borrow, or refer to. (Source: Oxford Dictionaries)

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Historical Role of Libraries

The Library of Alexandria, founded in the third century B.C., housed collections of works, lecture halls, meeting rooms, and gardens. The library was part of a larger research institution where many of the most famous thinkers of the ancient world studied. In short, it was a center for knowledge creation.

20th century library


20th Century Libraries

Over the years, libraries ceded their lofty position to schools and universities, effectively becoming storehouses for books and periodicals (knowledge repositories). However, with the advent of new technology beginning in the 1990s, a shift began to take place, pushing the library to accommodate new media.

21st century library

21st Century Libraries — What's Old is New Again

Today, technology has become miniaturized, portable, and ubiquitous. Smart phones have made it possible for people to carry the Internet with them everywhere they go and enjoy access to a virtually limitless repository of information. This reality has compelled libraries to further redefine their role. Human interaction and knowledge creation are now the central focus. The circle is complete; libraries have returned to their original mission.

How is Knowledge Created?

  • Individual study
  • Collaboration
  • Experimentation
  • Information exchange
  • Instruction

What Kind of Functions Must the Modern Library Support?

  • Private study
  • Collaboration
  • STEAM/Makerspaces
  • Meeting
  • Instruction
  • Lounge/Leisure
  • Technology

What Influences Space Utilization?

  • Mobility Needs
    • Static
    • Flexible
    • Multi-use
  • Adjacencies
    • Putting people in close proximity, to encourage serendipitous interactions
    • Commons areas
  • Aesthetic Considerations (Interior/Exterior Design & Style)
    • Traditional
    • Conventional
    • Contemporary
  • Technology and infrastructure considerations
    • BYOD (bring your own device) or desktop
    • Power and data
    • Architectural elements

Furniture for the Modern Library

Modern Library Shelving

At Brodart, we do more than simply manufacture products for libraries. We help design spaces that make best use of available square footage and enhance patrons' library experience.

Brodart offers a range of products to support optimum space utilization and human interaction, which have become the hallmarks of 21st century libraries. Our aim is not to dictate design or aesthetics. Rather, we accommodate the varied needs of each individual project..



Furniture for Modern Libraries

Digital Assets

These assets will help you identify the right products to meet your needs. If you need more information, layout assistance or renderings, contact us.