ALA Unit/Subunit: LLAMA
Meeting Type: Program
Cost: Included with full conference registration.
Traditional library spaces can create barriers to use and deter visitors in increasingly diverse communities. This series of Ignite Talks (in which speakers work from a limited number of slides that automatically advance) presents some current trends in library interiors that will foster inclusion and diversity and help guarantee that libraries fulfill their promise of being welcoming to all. Come learn how to create buildings that promote cultural inclusion, sensory spaces, gender neutral restrooms, prayer and meditation rooms, Civic Labs, and even successfully creating communal staff work spaces.
Note: these are the speakers and topics anticipated. In the Ignite format, we may add one speaker, with all speakers taking 5 to 7 minutes each, with time for questions at the end.
The first speaker, Peter Bolek of HBM Architects, will present an overview of some important basics in ensuring libraries are accessible and welcoming, including detectors (especially any with push gates), access to desks and self-checks, furniture selection and placement, and signage.
The second speaker, Tony Tallent of Richland Public Library, will discuss sensory spaces: areas of the library specifically designed with lighting, textures, sounds and objects that develop sensory awareness and are particularly for reaching children with limited communication skills, including those on the autism spectrum.
The third speaker will provide tips on implementing gender neutral public restrooms.
Prayer and meditation rooms are increasingly appearing in libraries. The fourth speaker will discuss important considerations in providing one.
In a time when the county seems increasingly divided, libraries are taking steps to promote civil dialog and factual information on community issues to help bridge divides. Skokie's Civic Lab is a pop-up space dedicated to "allow us to engage in open conversation and grow together as a community." A staff members from Skokie will show how to create spaces to engage library users in this way.
Communal staff work spaces, without separate offices and often even cubicles, presents possible rewards and also challenges. Our sixth speaker will discuss ways to implement them without alienating or demoralizing staff.