Inclusion by Design [pdf] explores how design impacts accessibility and diversity.
The quality of buildings and spaces has a strong influence on the quality of people’s lives . Decisions about the design, planning and management of places can enhance or restrict a sense of belonging. They can increase or reduce feelings of security, stretch or limit boundaries, promote or reduce mobility, and improve or damage health. They can remove real and imagined barriers between communities and foster understanding and generosity of spirit.
Although there are all sorts of takeaways for libraries in the briefing, there’s direct mention of libraries contributing to this on pages 9 & 10.
Centres for learning are important particularly for people who need a space in which to study in comfort. Inclusive design means a library that is accessible, helpful, stimulating and reflects the diversity of its community. It means:
- a building to be proud of
- a library where you can’t hear a pin drop
- a library where you can linger and be warm
- a library where people far from home can connect up to their families
- a library where students are welcome – even on Sunday morning when many need to study affordable facilities
- accessible shelves
- a diverse staff team that reflects the make-up of the community.
Well-designed libraries encourage enjoyment in life- long learning for people of all ages and backgrounds.