How to design a library that makes kids want to read

The Robin Hood Library Initiative

We all need inspiration and validation for what we do.  Today I received this in spades when I watched the Ted Talk by designer Michael Bierut about his involvement in creating a logo for a Robin Hood project.

About a decade ago, this philanthropic organisation wanted to do something to improve the public schools of New York but didn’t have the level of funding required to update all the schools’ buildings so instead chose the place in the school that would reach the most students – the library!  It’s called The Library Initiative and has redeveloped libraries in almost 60 schools in New York City.

Robin Hood Library , New York NY , Richard H Lewis

The Library Initiative 2

These libraries look like places of magic and wonderment! And while I loved everything Michael spoke about, I was particularly struck by his theme of unintended consequences and how speaking with one of the school librarians about turning out the lights at the end of each working day became a touchstone of what unexpected consequences can look like.

I think it’s also a reminder that doing something we feel strongly about can bring unexpected consequences as a result of the action we take and how it may impact us personally.  And I love that!  Receiving of unexpected gifts.

If you want to see more of the libraries and their unique murals, you’ll find some at Environmeant.

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