I was clicking around at some of the local library websites today and came across this image:
I was impressed. I thought GSU got game. I thought they were bringing in a fresh design and raising the bar for Atlanta libraries, or all libraries for that matter. I thought that they had gone Hollywood on us — bringing in something from the Dolce Group.
But I was wrong. The caption from their photo reads:
“The orange walls are not a design decision gone awry. These protective walls are in place as the new and expanded "links" make their connections to the existing buildings.”
Tragic! That space would have really popped. Paint the stairs black. Jack the area up with computers. Take out that stationary wooden furniture and install comfortable modular solutions. Drop that food/drink policy. Set the mood. They would have had a cool little spot in the library where people could unwind.
You’ve got space for books. You’re got classrooms and service desks. You’ve got quiet areas. Why not provide a chill zone? So many students use libraries to kill time between classes, why not make it hot?
“Oh but they can go hangout somewhere else—the library is for studying and research, serious work and contemplation” you might say. “Well, it’s those things and more. But if you give up a little space to create an emotional connection with patrons—give them a safe zone, a neutral zone, it will pay off in the long run” I would respond.
I just hope they don’t paint a big QUIET across the wall like they did on their 5th floor:
That’s some real talk, but I’m just messing with them. They actually have a good business and social science collection—I borrow books from them regularly. I just wanted to be inspired by space. I wanted to see something new. I can’t blame them for playing it safe instead.