1 May 2006
research the collection information of the library and AF-wide collections in addition to
the children's collections. Include storage opportunities for VHS tapes, CDs, DVDs,
games, and other materials and equipment within the children's computer area.
Reading Areas for Children
Elementary and preschool aged children are the primary users of reading areas for
children. Children's general collection stacks should surround the primary reading
spaces. Accommodate the needs and various preferences of customers by providing
reading areas that vary in size, character, furnishings, and orientation to the outside.
Secondary reading alcoves may also be located within the general collections book
stacks. Provide both individual and group reading activity areas with some lounge or
bean bag type seating appropriate for children and include some seating opportunities
for adults, so they are not always required to sit in child-sized seats. Child-sized tables
and chairs are also needed for reading and studying. The outdoors should be visible
from this area and an outdoor reading terrace is desirable, if possible.
Audio/Visual and Special Collections for Children
Special collections for children may be located within the general collections or reading
areas. These collections may include books, periodicals, A/V, and other materials that
will be installation specific, so consult the installation's library director for information
regarding their existing and anticipated collections. Consider utilizing mesh bags to
contain and display materials. Rods that go into shelving may also be utilized to display
mesh or plastic bags of collection materials. Freestanding displays may also be utilized
that rotate for easy access to selections. Provide adequate shelving and storage bins
for collection materials and equipment.
Audio/Visual Viewing and Listening Stations for Children
Locate A/V viewing and listening stations away from major group activity areas like story
alcoves, to provide some privacy and isolation from noisy events, where possible.
Provide child-sized booths and stations with headphones. Utilize durable materials
specifically manufactured for children, where possible. At least one station must be
ADAAG compliant. Provide convenience electrical outlets at A/V stations in addition to
the electrical requirements for the planned A/V equipment to be utilized at each station.
Provide equipment for audio and video stations according to the requirements of each
collection. Verify equipment requirements with the library director of each facility, since
special equipment requirements may be required depending upon the A/V collection
items at each base. Include CATV outlets at viewing stations to allow current or future
connectivity to the installation television and communications resources.
Design story alcoves for group and individual activities and as a focal point for the
children's areas. Consider a rounded area that is appropriate for storytelling and similar
group reading that can be easily reconfigured for different types of group activities.
Story alcoves may be utilized for individual activities or small group activities, such as
story hours, films, video presentations, and music appreciation. Floor pillows, carpeted
steps, seating platforms, or movable, carpeted boxes may be utilized for special
activities. Loud or disturbing group activities should be held in the conference rooms in