Birmingham Children’s Libraries

“Don’t just rely on ideas from parents and staff. Speak to a library refit company like BookSpace – they have access to the latest trends and so many ideas we wouldn’t have thought of”
Jacquie Deeley, Library Manager

Issue rates are up

19%

Birmingham Children’s Libraries

Five children’s libraries located within five community libraries in South Birmingham. A successful grant application to the Wolfson Foundation enabled each to be refurbished.

Summary

Each children’s library required a refurbishment for different reasons but all of them had the same objective – to get children to love reading and bring books to life.

BookSpace refitted the children’s libraries, independent of their associated adult libraries, adopting designs and layouts that were purposefully created to be similar but respectful of each of their unique characteristics.

With registered borrowers increasing by 24% amongst younger children and issue rates up 19% it’s a success story that could see other authorities embracing.

Challenges

Each of the five children’s libraries had its own reasons for requiring a refurbishment. In the case of Kings Norton Library, it was a 100 year old original Carnegie Library with the original oak shelving and a leaking roof! The brief to BookSpace was to get children, parents and carers excited about reading and books; to create a recognisably new space and to celebrate each of the libraries individual features.

How BookSpace helped

A palette of purple and vibrant lime green was used across all five libraries and a mixture of fixed wall shelving and Mobile Bookcases combined with plenty of soft seating ensured that the children’s libraries sat comfortably alongside their respective adult libraries (which hadn’t been refurnished) but also looked inviting and enticing to new young borrowers.

Results

“We’ve seen a marked increase in the amount of young borrowers using the library since we refurbished it” says Jacquie Deeley. “In our Kings Norton library, issue rates for all ages for the 12 month period following the refit have increased by 19% which is just phenomenal. And across all of the refitted libraries, the number of registered borrowers has increased for all ages but particularly the under 4’s, where we’ve seen a 24% increase! We’re delighted.”

The BookSpace team is dedicated to designing the perfect library for your school and our library consultants along with our designers spend many hours developing plans and visuals to make sure we create a library with which you are 100% happy.

Our free design service is extremely popular because of the high quality bespoke attention we give to each unique project. As a small company you will appreciate that we don’t always have the capacity and resources to make the service available to every school who is refurbishing their library. So we would like to understand more about your plans in order to assess whether our service and products provide the best match for your needs.

If you are interested in our free design service please complete the form below, it should take no longer than 5 minutes. We will assess your application alongside the others we receive and let you know if we are able to offer you one of our free design service slots.

Find out more

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