6 Small Updates Libraries Can Make During a Phased Reopening

As many libraries begin a phased reopening, they are presented with a unique opportunity. With fewer people in the building, they can potentially tackle some of the smaller projects on their to do lists. These kinds of improvements can be done after hours, if needed and often come with a small price tag. However, they can make a large impact on how a space performs and functions. Our work with the Derby Public Library is a great example of that.

The Derby Public Library wanted to improve acoustics in their busy facility. With an open library plan, sound traveled easily from one area of the building to another. If teens were gaming or children’s programs were in session, they unintentionally disrupted other quiet areas. They asked our team to incorporate solutions throughout that would deaden the sound.

We implemented the following solutions:

  • A sound masking system was installed.

  • Acoustical dividers were placed on top of bookshelves.

  • Snap-in acoustical baffles were added to the ceiling grid.

  • Playful wall blades that look like trees were added to the children’s area.

  • LightArt sound absorbing pendants were put in the study and conference rooms to deaden sound and create more light.

  • Acoustical tiles played double duty in the conference room as an art installation.

Upgrading acoustical solutions is a great example of the kind of project that can be undertaken right now. In addition, we have listed six other ideas below. Each can be designed remotely and installed when the building is vacant. All offer a potentially simple and cost-effective way to enhance staff and patrons’ experiences:

  1. Create an inviting outdoor area by adding or improving a garden.

  2. Replace furniture.

  3. Do any deferred maintenance.

  4. Paint or make updates to other finishes to refresh the space.

  5. Replace lighting and flooring.

  6. Update the children’s area with fun sound-absorbing elements.

No matter the size of the project, we’d like to help. Contact us at brookec@bc-dg.com to schedule a virtual or in-person meeting and learn more about our process.

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