If you ever had the feeling that your library space might look somewhat dull and unexciting, there might be some relatively simpler ways to change that. The university I work at has two separate campuses and I work at one of them. But this week, because of some committee work, I spent time at the other (BBC) campus. This was actually the first time that I had time to look around the library there. And I immediately noticed these colorful chairs on the first floor.
The library building at the BBC campus has a pretty traditional look. The building is clean and neatly kept, but the colors of the wall and the carpet are neutral and conservative. While this might induce the sentiments suitable for serious study and concentration, the uniformly neutral colors may also create an impression that the library is dull and boring.
I was quite impressed by how these several colorful chairs do a great deal in counteracting such an impression. Considering that re-painting or re-carpeting is quite expensive, adding some color chairs like this can be a simple and effective way to create a more positive impression about library space to users.
While I was hanging out at the first floor, I was looking for a power outlet to plug in my laptop. The BBC campus library has power outlets on the floor in addition to some on the walls. This is a great feature because often users would be studying in the middle of the library space where they would be too far away from the walls.
However, the power outlets are not very visible in its white color. Considering that a lot of library users look for power outlets, it would be great if they are made visually more prominent.
To come to think of it, hard-to notice power outlets are a problem in other places. At any coffee shop, the tables near the wall where power outlets appear are often the first ones to be taken. The same goes for the chairs near power outlets at an airport. I would be delighted if I can easily locate a free power outlet at a coffee shop or an airport. This means that easy-to-notice power outlets are one sure way for coffee shops and airports to win me over as their client.
Granted power outlets are not the major function of a coffee shop or an airport. But if it is an amenity that is highly sought-after by users, then why not make it easy for them to find and use it?
I wonder what other secondary functions or non-major amenities of a library are frequently used by library patrons and how we can make them stand out more. Perhaps, libraries can match those features with services or resources that they want to promote for a better marketing effect.