New additions to our library – including iPads as OPACS

We recently made some purchases for our new library that have helped to make the space feel more like our original plan for a comfortable, welcoming centre that meets the needs of our student population. I thought I’d share a few pics here.

We originally planned on having traditional computers as OPACS, but earlier in the year I saw a post on a listserv talking of how a school had used iPads for catalogue searching, and I redirected the planned funding to the purchase of four iPads. We have mounted an iPad cover to the end panels and insert the iPads in them every morning, and take them out for charging at the end of each day. Because they hold their charge so well, they last most of the day with the image fixed on our library catalogue. We have been really surprised at how much use they have had. There’s the novelty factor that kicked in early, but that’s worn off and they are getting consistent use as a search terminal. They’re a definite winner!

We made some purchases from Dare Gallery of couches and ottomans for the area we have coined the conference room space. It was full of flip tables and chairs, and even though it was easy to reconfigure for different occasions, it wasn’t part of the vision we had for the space. Even though Dare Gallery sent the wrong colour furniture (these couches and ottomans are supposed to be purple and lime! – they are sending replacements for us) their inclusion in the space has transformed its use. It feels so much friendlier, and class groups using the space gravitate to the couches. Teachers have commented on the changing feel of the room, and have recognised that we are moving closer to the vision we originally articulated.

Here’s a picture of a working library- messy circulation desk and all! The blue chairs aren’t part of our vision, but the vinyl lettering was, and using some key words on places like this desk and walls has added warmth and interest.







We are a 1:1 laptop school, so there is not a pressing need for banks of computers throughout our library. The addition of this row of four Mac computers has made a difference to this space though. They are getting frequent use from students who come in during breaks without their laptops, and by students who have computers in for repair.

This ZigZag bookshelf and ottoman were other purchases from Dare gallery. It’s a cute little nook and we are planning to display new fiction, non fiction and magazines. It’s anice focal point when people enter the main library space, as you can see from the picture below. In the background, you can see a silver screen. These are tri panelled. We have purchased two of these and can see them being moved around to create private spaces for small groups.

The placement of this orange couch in front of our tiered beanbag room has helped to create another area for students to relax. They have really appreciated the inclusion of more couches into our library space.

We’ve been really pleased with the snake lounge (our term for the winding purpose built lounge that snakes through the main library space and defines areas) and the functionality it affords. At the end of term we used its benchtops to display holiday reading options for staff and students.

Our library is making its way to the original vision we had for the interior fit out. Hopefully our budgets will allow us to fulfill more of the vision we have for it in the coming year.


20 Replies to “New additions to our library – including iPads as OPACS”

  1. Wow. I’m really impressed and a little envious too. I love the ipad idea. Do you have other programs on them as well or only access to the OPAC?

    1. There are other apps on them, but we are trying to keep them fixed to our Library catalogue at the moment. We are in the process of organising a class set of ipads for student use at break times and within classes.

  2. Wow. Jenny, I love the design ideas you are sharing, and how purposeful each of them are. And tell me about Dare? Is that a store there? a catalog?

    I love the style you’ve chosen, the large inviting lettering, and the flexible spaces.

    1. Dare Gallery is a furniture store here in Australia. We have chosen to purchase from retail suppliers rather than library suppliers, because we seem to get more value for our money. Thanks for your encouraging comments Carolyn. I value your opinion. : )

  3. I love your library. Funky! A little bit Jetsons. One day I will visit with Di and we will dream of transforming our library. Love the iPads idea.

  4. Hi Jenyy

    Love seeing your vision for your library come to life! Great splashes of colour throughout and yes it is very funky! I’ve looked at catalogues from the Dare Gallery a few times now, but I think I’ll be taking a closer look now after seeiing some of your furniture!

    We were very excited to finally receive our Story Chair at the end of last term

    I’ll add pics of our library soon as I have to be ready for our official opening on Nov 10th!!

    Thanks for sharing

    Have a wonderful last term….

    Kim 🙂

    1. Your story chair is beautiful Kim. I bet the kids just love it. I’m looking forward to seeing more pics of your new space.

      Hope you’ve had a good break. You have a wonderful last term too. : )

  5. WOW! It looks amazing, It’s beautiful and funky.
    Love the mix of traditional library furniture pieces with pieces for living room. Placing standing and table lamps in the library makes it very cosy and unusual.
    Great job, Jenny and TC Library!

  6. Hi jennylu,
    I am wondering how you set up your iPads to access your OPAC. Is it an App? also is it the only thing on that iPad? Do kids use it mainly for access the library catalog or do they surf the web or play with other apps? How did you attached it the endcaps?
    We are thinking of doing this and would really like to know. I’m in Los Angeles at an independent middle school.

    Thanks! Anna

  7. Some fantastic design ideas here, but I am particularly indebted to you for the idea of mounting iPads on the end panels. I have had to make some compromises with a new library design (of course) and have struggled with how best to provide opac access. Thanks!

  8. The Ipad as OPAc look great
    I found security I pad holder that you can mount to the wall and leave it there all the time.
    It costs about $180 Australian dollar’s.
    Hope to get one soon.
    Your library looks great well done

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