Learning Space Design Resources to Reimagine and Transform Your Space
Too many of our libraries and classrooms still look like they did decades ago. The way our students learn has been transformed – we need to reimagine and transform our spaces to match. Redesigning a learning space isn’t always easy, but the effort will pay off. There’s tons of easy, budget friendly ways to makeover your classroom or library. On this page, you’ll find the resources you need to get you started.
Scroll down to see presentations on learning space design, links to articles and blog posts about transforming your space and recommended books to read. This is a topic that I’m really passionate about, and I hope that these learning space design resources will inspire and excite you as you rethink your space.
Reimagining Library Spaces
Library and learning space design is such a fascinating subject to me that I decided to write a book about it. In this practical guide, I go into detail about planning a library space transformation, from brainstorming to ideation to surveying your students. I include tips for dreaming big as well as simple, budget-friendly changes you can implement right away. Each chapter includes action steps and connections to the ISTE standards.
(Page contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase using them, I get a small commission that helps support running this blog.)
Renovated Learning Posts on Learning Space Design
- How to Get Library Design Inspiration: 6 Places to Visit – In this post, I talk about my six favorite places to get design inspiration for my space. Some of them may surpise you 🙂
- The Great Library Makeover Part 1 – Post on our summer 2014 makeover, focusing on small group spaces
- The Great Library Makeover Part 2 – Post on our summer 2014 makeover focusing on instruction space
- LEGO Wall Round-up – Collection of how other schools have incorporated LEGO walls into their spaces
- Our Awesome Whiteboard wall – Tutorial on painting a whiteboard wall
- ALL THE POSTS on Learning Space Design
Articles I’ve written elsewhere:
- 6 Active Learning Spaces Your Library Should Have (AASL Knowledge Quest)
- How to Identify and Reframe Design Problems in Your Library (AASL Knowledge Quest)
- How to Transform Your Library Space on a Budget (AASL Knowledge Quest)
- 5 Easy Ways to Make Space for Innovation (AASL Knowledge Quest)
More curated resources:
- My Learning Space Design Pinterest Page – Pinterest is a fantastic resource for ideas and inspiration for learning spaces. I’ve curated some of my favorite ideas and images here.
- My Learning Commons/Spaces Diigo List – Chock full of tons of great links and articles to check out.
Learning Space Design Books
Make Space: How to Set the Stage for Creative Collaboration
This is a fabulous book for any educator looking to change up their learning space to support students collaboration. Even though this book is not directly about primary and secondary school environments (it focuses more on offices and universities) there’s so many practical lessons to be taken from this book. Also be sure to check out the book’s resources page. (My review here).
The Third Teacher
This amazing and beautifully designed book was created by a team of architects and designers who took a look at education and school learning environments and created a list of 79 practical design ideas for schools to implement. This book is chock full of amazing interviews, statistics, and examples of beautiful learning spaces. (My review here)
Get Active: Reimagining Learning Spaces for Student Success
This book, published by ISTE, contains research on active learning space models and advice on planning, transforming and creating active learning spaces in school. This book inspired my 6 Active Learning Spaces post. (My review here
The Language of School Design: Design Patterns for 21st Century Schools
This book is a fantastic collection of research and resources for renovating and redesigning existing schools as well as constructing new schools. It includes 29 different design patterns for schools, and many of them have strong applications in the library. (My review here)
The L!brary Book: Design Collaborations in the Public Schools
This book showcases fifty different library design projects and contains plenty of inspiration and ideas for redesigning school libraries. More information on the organization here.
Library Spaces for 21st-Century Learners: A Planning Guide for Creating New School Library Concepts
Published by the American Association of School Libraries, this book focuses on creating modern library spaces with user-based design strategies.
Designing a School Library Media Center For the Future
Unlike many of the other books, I’ve mentioned here, this one focuses on constructing and moving into a new library media center. It has lots of great resources and information.
The Space: A Guide for Educators
This beautifully designed and inspirational book is almost more like an artist’s workbook. The authors guide educators through questions and ideas to help them reimagine their learning spaces.
- How a Moveable Space can Ignite Creativity in the Classroom – Mindshift article
- Carolyn Foote’s Resources on Library Design – Carolyn has been researching and rethinking library design for awhile, and she has gathered an amazing collection of resources.
- The Hillbrook iLab – An amazing story of a classroom redesign that has transformed how students learn at this school
- Remake Your Class: Six Steps to Get Started – Great article from Edutopia on getting started with transforming your learning environment
- 8 Tips and Tricks to Redesign Your Classroom – More ideas and resources from Edutopia
- Redesigning Learning Spaces: Creating Brain-friendly, blended learning environments – Alliance for Excellent Education Webinar
- The Learning Commons: An ISTElib Webinar – Carolyn Bailey discusses the creation of her school’s amazing Learning Commons
- TL Virtual Cafe – reThinking Library Spaces – Webinar with Shannon Miller and Carolyn Foote on reThinking library design
- Remake Your Class: Building a Collaborative Learning Environment – Video series from Edutopia on a fantastic, low-budget classroom makeover
- Planning for the Future of K–12 Libraries: Multifunctional Learning Commons – DEMCO’s webinar and resources on Learning Commons