Skip to Main Content

Remodel of SPH Lippo Village Senior Library

Design Vision |  November 2018 

We envision a Senior Library that is a warm and welcoming dynamic center of learning that “encourages exploration, creation, and collaboration between students, teachers, and the broader community”1.  It should bring together the best physical and digital resources in a technology-rich environment that inspires students to construct new knowledge and meaning from the world around them.2  Beyond being a traditional library, it should implement design elements that foster student learning in new and creative ways and serve as a showcase of what a school library in Indonesia could and should be when aligned with the transformative power of Education 4.0. 


Guiding Principles for IB Learners 

Education is changing. Traditional teacher-centered methods focused on lectures and memorization are being left behind as schools like SPH seek to implement the transformative educational methods of “Education 4.0” with its anywhere/anytime learning that is flexibly-delivered, collaborative in nature, and personalized to the needs of the student.  

So too, libraries are changing.  No longer viewed as simply book warehouses or computer labs, school libraries are being transformative in shaping the “content, the curriculum and the community in ways that give learners the best chance to succeed”.3 

According to the IBO’s June 2018 publication Ideal Libraries: A Guide for Schools, “libraries are where most forms of inquiry, not just academic ones, begin”4 and continue; the library contributes directly to these:  

  • Curriculum: relating directly to the content teachers are responsible to facilitate, and for students to learn. Research is a form of inquiry, and commonly associated with the curriculum.  

  • Social and emotional learning: relating to the growth and personal development of learners, and by extension the school community.   

  • Service learning: relating to the knowledge and wisdom gained through serving the community.  

  • Experiential learning: relating to what is learned through experience, experimentation, and reflection upon both. 

The library should be “designed to support and energize academic learning, service learning, and social and emotional support for the community.”5  


Library Design Principles 

These five principles6 should guide the design of the senior library: 

Open: the space should be unconfined in nature  

  • there should be multiple zones that support the highly focused to the highly collaborative and everything in between (small group collaboration/large group presentation areas/tech-rich and creative spaces/personal-quieter work areas for reading, reflection, studying/café vibe area for social learning in groups or pairs/meeting rooms/relaxing and lounge areas) 

  • the use should also be unconfined – the space should support any type of learning activities, including cross-disciplinary ones 

  • it should be ready to be explored as students see fit 

  • it should have a light and airy feel 

Free: the space should be flexible and mobile, providing the freedom to move and explore 

  • students can group themselves as they see fit – the space isn’t pre-decided for them; it’s organic 

  • spaces can evolve and change with students’ needs at time of day to time of semester 

  • most furniture and shelves on wheels 

Comfortable: the space should be designed for multiple types of learners and learning styles 

  • different sizes and types of furnishings 

  • no one-size-fits-all philosophy 

Inspiring: the space should present a uniform and consistent vision of functionality, sophistication and creativity 

  • dynamic and vibrant feel in furnishings, layout, and design 

  • color, light, plants, student art 

  • accommodates poetry readings, TED talks, music, Legos, strategy games, robotics 

Practical: the space, in layout and design, should be pedagogically sound 

  • it should be a place real work gets done and real learning takes places 

  • hours, electrical outlets, lighting, signage, Wi-Fi, charging stations 


Connecting Concept 

We believe the connecting concept that brings together the various spaces into a unified design should reflect the international nature of the school, modeling the need for students to be globally-minded in their learning and development.   


Design Elements 

The entire space should take these design elements into consideration: 

  • Color: inviting, warm, inspirational 

  • Lighting: bright and energetic in group work areas, soft and indirect in quiet reading areas, interesting in café areas. 

  • Air flow: individual control of temperature in closed spaces  

  • Noise levels: dampen the noise of big group areas with softer carpet and wall hangings; use shelving and glass strategically 

  • Power: students need accessible electrical power outlets/points in all areas 

  • Supervision: all areas of the library need to be easily visible; enclosed spaces need to use glass so that it is easy to supervise student activity within these spaces 

  • Service: the library is much more than the physical space, it is also the staff who provide services for students thus the service center needs to be centrally located in the middle of the whole space, accessible from all sides and visible from all corners 


Aligning Learners and Library Spaces 

IB aspect of inquiry 

Education 4.0 principles 

Library design principles 

Practical application of best practices 

Designing for the Curriculum 


Critical thinking 

Creative thinking 


Flexible delivery 

Involves deep research 

Personalized learning 

Peer collaboration 

Mentor collaboration 

Advanced technology 

Open: accommodate both large or small classes, clustered in one group or spread out across different areas 

Free: moveable furniture for different class activities 

Comfortable: a range of options for working both individually and as groups; space for a whole class without feeling squashed 

Inspiring: print and digital display options for student work, ideas, and digital research skills 

Practical: technology needs to be adaptable and easy for any teacher and class group to use the space  

  • Whole class teaching zone with TVs, moveable whiteboards, moveable desks and chairs 

  • Ability to make large and small groups as part of class activities 

  • A variety of seating including tall desks and stools, traditional desks and chairs and floor seating 

  • Shelving, signage and cataloguing stations for non-fiction collection with display options for digital resources 

  • Shelving hidden away for text books with a service point for loaning to students 


Designing for Social and Emotional Learning 

Student ownership 

Creative thinking 

Peer collaboration 

Personalized learning 


Open: smaller nooks created with strategic shelving and lounges not using immovable structures 

Free: furniture and shelving can move to accommodate the desire of users 

Comfortable: soft lounges, bean bags, low tables, cushions, carpets, indirect lighting 

Inspiring: book shelving that allows for display and advertising  

Practical: magazine/newspaper shelving, game storage  

  • Relaxed areas for comfortable reading 

  • Social spaces for discussion of ideas (café style) 

  • Spaces for playing strategy games or completing jigsaw puzzles 

  • Shelving for fiction collection to be moveable and easily accessible in the quiet reading zone 

Designing for Service Learning 

Student ownership 

Flexible delivery 

Open/Free: space that can be expanded to accommodate a large group gathering 

Comfortable: possible tiered seated to allow for better visibility 

Inspiring: interesting design, options for display 

Practical: good visual display, smooth flow of movement, easy access to service facilities 

  • Spaces to host larger groups including visiting parents, staff meetings, or student groups 

  • Kitchen facilities to provide food for groups – including a service counter to outside the library for group events occurring in K401 

Designing for Experiential Learning 

Practical experiences 

Connecting with mentors 

Peer collaboration 

Creative thinking 



Advanced technology 

Open: use of glass for visibility and open feel 

Free: options for using one larger room or two smaller rooms with movable dividers 

Comfortable: individual air controls to divided rooms 

Inspiring: makerspace equipment available for student experimentation and learning 

Practical: printing equipment away from movement areas with easy access to the central service desk; booking facility for group rooms 


  • Group conferencing room with technology to conference with outside experts 

  • Group recording space with green wall and video equipment 

  • Printing equipment -- 2D and 3D 

  • Group room for messier activities (may need a different floor, hard wearing furniture) 




1. Beth Holland, “21st-Century Libraries: The Learning Commons.” Edutopia (blog), January 14, 2015, 

2. Beth Holland, “21st-Century Libraries: The Learning Commons.” Edutopia (blog), January 14, 2015, 

3. International Baccalaureate Organization, Ideal Libraries: A Guide for Schools. (Geneva , IBO, 2018): 1. 

4. International Baccalaureate Organization, Ideal Libraries: A Guide for Schools. (Geneva, IBO, 2018): 9. 

5. International Baccalaureate Organization, Ideal Libraries: A Guide for Schools. (Geneva, IBO, 2018): 12. 

6. Bryan Sinclair, “Commons 2.0: Library Spaces Designed for Collaborative Learning The Information Commons Must Adapt and Evolve to Become Commons 2.0, Fostering Student Learning in New and Creative Ways,” Educause Quarterly 4 (2007): 4–6, accessed November 28, 2018,