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Studio Rhode: Space

Don't have enough space?

Outdoor Programming

Most libraries have outdoor spaces as well as indoor that they can use when weather permits. Do not just think about what your outdoor space will look like, consider how it will function with key principles like access, comfort and multiple uses.

Take Yourself into the Community

Perhaps you do not have much programming space in your library, but the library’s mission need not be contained within the four walls of your building. Libraries increasingly travel out into other community spaces to provide services and outreach. Bring plenty of branded swag so that all the new community members you are engaging with will remember that you came from the library!

Be Flexible with Time and Space

Consider spaces that you can serve multiple purposes at different times throughout the day. Although many library spaces are dedicated to a single function, having portable storage, movable furniture and an attitude of flexibility can help to maximize a smaller space. Blocking out dedicated times in multi-use spaces for certain activities can provide consistency for a project, while still leaving the space available for other uses.

Look at Existing Spaces with Fresh Eyes

Even if you think you are using all your existing space, you may be missing opportunities for additional uses that could be added through relatively simple changes. The Woonsocket Library took a quiet study room and converted it into a multi-purpose creation space by swapping in wheeled tables and chairs, and adding studio features like soundproofing, a green screen and technology equipment. The space can still be used as quiet study space, of course, but now it can also be used for so much more.

Utilize Professional Resources

Visit our professional development resources on using your space smartly. As so many projects focused on innovative use of space, an accompanying professional development series also highlighted this topic. Creative Placemaking—turning outdoor spaces into active community hubs—can help you reexamine the space outside your library, while learning more about the Small Libraries Create Smart Spaces project may inspire you to rethink your interior.



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