"Refreshovations" and More

Since Rob and I have been talking so much about reinventing libraries and our concept of "refreshovating" (rethinking, restructuring and rejuvenating), I thought it would be fun to post a few good examples of both new spaces and "refreshovated" ones for everyone to check out. Thanks to Library Furniture International, we had the opportunity to visit several great Chicago-area public libraries at the end of February. As always, we learned a lot and took away a ton of great and forward-thinking ideas. And, of course, I just needed to share with you.

And, a special thanks to all the terrific library staff who toured us through their buildings!

Barrington Area Library - "Refreshovated" their library by incorporating a supported self-service area, wonderful merchandising with terrific bookstore-like shelving units and fantastic signage, a digital media lab (that once was a small meeting room), interactive children's space and much more. Stay tuned because they're just getting started!

Ela Area Public Library - Revamped and "refreshovated" entrance and first floor with new streamlined service points, supported self-serve, a cafe area, great bookstore-like shelving, and a new teen area.

Arlington Heights Memorial Library's Kids' World - Opened January 2011. This "refreshovated" children's area is an exciting and colorful space. Several interactive elements for the very young have been incorporated including an "I Can Read" area which attracts beginning readers with fun activities and preschool literacy computers to help build skills.

Gail Borden Public Library District, Rakow Branch - Opened August 2009. Features a popular collection, gardens, an external 24/7 DVD and video game dispenser, and is an environmentally friendly LEED registered building.

Gail Borden Public Library District's Studio 270 Teen Area - Opened January 2011. This teen area features a small meeting room with white board wall, highly merchandised popular collection, computers and technology, a slew of soft seating options, and a variety of interactive spaces such as a craft area, small stage and more.

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