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  • Writer's pictureNoni Harrison

Designing a 21st century learning space

Updated: Jan 2, 2021

The design and the goings-on of an effective 21st century library go hand-in-hand. 21st century future-proof libraries must be equipped with furnishings and resources that reflect and enable these learnings to occur. Having said that, what happens in the space is of utmost importance.

The following webpages provide examples of 21st century library spaces and how to plan for spaces that meet form and function:

  1. 21st-Century Libraries: The Learning Commons

  2. Learning Commons: How Technology is Changing 21st Century Library Design

  3. The Link to Content in 21st-Century Libraries

  4. Library Learning Spaces: One School Library’s Initial Design Brief

Also, Steven Johnson’s (2010) TED Talk Where Do Good Ideas Come From? reminds us of the ideas banks of times gone by and the power of the coffee shop design. Libraries are for the people to gather, collaborate, share, exchange, examine, explore, so should be designed for such activities to happen.


Holland, B. (2015). 21st-century libraries: The learning commons. Retrieved from

Johnson, S. (2010, July). Where do good ideas come from? [Video]. Retrieved from

Lippincott, J. (2018). The link to content in 21st-century libraries. Retrieved from

Smith System. (2016). Learning commons: How technology is changing 21st century library design. Retrieved from

Wisken, A. (2012). Library learning spaces: One school library’s initial design brief. Synergy, 10(2). Retrieved

#21stcentury #design #learningcommons

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