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Case Studies

Malton Library

“The onset of Covid meant there were a number of challenges to overcome; including delays with the building work and limited numbers able to work within the building during the refurbishment.

The design process was supportive and collaborative. We had to work within the constraints of the building as well as responding to customer needs. The final result was just what we wanted.

Although we were only able to open for browsing for a short time before we went back into lockdown, the reaction of library customers was really positive. In particular the end panels and increased face-on display space meant that books were ‘flying off the shelves’.”

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Brief

Malton is a busy market town in North Yorkshire, with its 1960s library seeing 1,000 visitors a week integral to the local community.

Some of the original shelving was still in place, and although the full-length windows provided plenty of light, the library needed a refresh with colours, layout and additional facilities, plus structural work to open up and improve the space. This is where FG Library & Learning’s expert knowledge and experience came in, as we started devising a library design plan for Malton Library.

The aim of the refurbishment was to create a warm, welcoming, and friendly space for people to visit. As a popular destination for all, the library design needed to offer modern facilities, WiFi and space for ‘Bring Your Own Device’, a place for personal study and a suitable space for the public to access computers. A family-friendly area and a children’s zone was also key requirement to encourage young readers.

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Solution

The design process was supportive and collaborative, with all stakeholders were fully informed throughout. Various layouts were proposed, ensuring flexibility and futureproofing. The colour scheme was chosen to give a warm, contemporary feel. This was achieved by using nature inspired earth colours and various shades of green. Timber-based elements of maple, graphite, mint and petrol were selected and paired with fabrics such as Atlantic (petrol green), Tigerlily (earth red) and Gooseberry (green).

The library team were keen to have a ‘bookshop’ feel, therefore the design included Landscape Shelving with ‘wow-factor’ display end panels, signage and book support, all helping to bring the finesse of a bookshop. With a mix of single and double-sided shelving, the book stock requirements of the library were accommodated. Oxford sofas were selected for their comfort, support and style.

Knowing the need for books to be accessible at all heights was an essential factor in the library design, the Landscape Shelving System was specified with angled shelving at the bottom which also allows the spines to be clearly seen. Grilles were also built into the shelving plinths against the walls.

In the children’s area, a minimalist woodland theme was chosen, linking to the Yorkshire countryside and bringing a rural theme inside. This features owls, squirrels and foxes with vibrant orange as well as greens and blues. Tactile ‘pasadena pine’ was added as a striking backdrop. Providing an inclusive environment for all children, the design team proposed a feature ‘Tree Storywall’ with a double-sided hideaway and a waterfall unit which facilitates the display of forward-facing picture books.

Designing for the ‘connected’ world, pluto units were installed. These are fun tabletop power units which allow people to charge their devices at various points. Understanding the need for a flexible space, the central shelving was specified as mobile. Lockable castors give stability but can be quickly released and moved, enabling the area to be reconfigured for events and community clubs.

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