100+ Ideas to Inspire Smart Spaces and Creative Places

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  • Description
  • Table of Contents
  • About the author

The ideas in this book are all about helping your library building become a more exciting, interesting, experiential space where people are engaged and want to spend time.  More time spent in the library increases the library’s value and relevance to its users—and the more intriguing the space is, the more it helps draw in new patrons.  Taking inspiration and examples from companies and non-profits outside the library world, this book’s engaging ideas include

  • using “biophilic design” to bring nature into your library through gardens, plants, and greenery;
  • transforming static spaces into “Instagram bait”;
  • putting art installations in bathrooms;
  • turning underutilized spaces like hallways and mezzanines into welcoming “chill” zones;
  • creating pop-ups and other flexible spaces that change regularly;
  • developing co-working spaces in libraries;
  • preserving and promoting silent spaces; and
  • creating “parklets” from parking spaces.

Complete with lists of additional resources for discovering even more ideas, this book will help all kinds of libraries create innovative spaces that will delight their communities.


Chapter 1    Biophilic Design
Inviting Mother Nature into Your Library

Chapter 2    Instagram Bait
A Picture Is Worth a Thousand Words

Chapter 3    Art in the Bathroom
You Can Make Any Space Beautiful

Chapter 4    Lab Stores
Testing, Testing, Testing

Chapter 5    Hallway Hangouts
Using the Space between Spaces

Chapter 6    Strategy Amplifying Spaces
Sharing Who You Are through Your Building

Chapter 7    Experiences
Don’t Let Me Get Bored When I Walk in Your Door

Chapter 8    Pop-Up Spaces
Tell Me Something Interesting

Chapter 9    Silent Spaces
What Was Old Is New Again

Chapter 10    Co-working Spaces
With a Little Help from My Friends

Chapter 11    Bespoke Spaces
I Made This Just for You

Chapter 12    Millennial-Friendly Spaces
Bleisure Travel

Chapter 13    Spaces Supporting Biodiversity
Where the Wild Things Are

Chapter 14    Placemaking
Your Community

Photo Credits

Elisabeth Doucett

Elisabeth Doucett is director of the Curtis Memorial Library in Brunswick, Maine. She holds an MLS from Simmons College, where she was elected to the Beta Phi Mu Honor Society, and an MBA in marketing from the J. L. Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. She is the author of Creating Your Library Brand. Her strategy and marketing proficiencies were developed over more than a decade spent in the consumer packaged goods industry as a marketing director at Quaker Oats and Dunkin' Donuts and as a brand manager at Kraft Foods in the Maxwell House Coffee Division.