Location: Norfolk, VA
Client: City of Norfolk
Architect: Newman Architects
Consultants: Laura Isenstein and Kimberly Bolan Cullin, Providence Associates
Population Served: 238,000
Completion Date: January, 2015
Slover Library in downtown Norfolk allows visitors to discover the past while embracing the future. Reviving the downtown area has been a priority of the city since the early 90s and it only makes sense that the library would be part of that plan.
According to Sean Bilby, Support Services Manager, “the vision was to create a welcoming place where people can read and study as individuals and work together collaboratively to learn, create and share. We now have a technologically modern library with a renovated historic building that is welcoming, comfortable and encourages people to stay to enjoy programs, play games, read, study, teach their children and work together.”
Blending Old and New
The historic Seaboard building was transformed into a vibrant new space that gives a nod to the past with its more traditional furniture and restored interior architectural details while pushing toward the future with leading edge technology, allowing access to the collection in new and different ways. The new 6-story addition is much more contemporary, yet the two structures are complementary in nature. The new structure brings in a lot more light and creates numerous spaces for community collaboration.
The Teen space on the 5th floor of the library includes space and equipment for gaming, as well as computers and study rooms all in a more casual environment. Custom gaming carts are double-sided mobile units that include lockable space for storing components. These units can easily be moved to other rooms for use in various programs or events.
Children’s Area Mobile Shelving
With an entire floor devoted to children’s services, there is plenty of space for Nofolk’s youngest visitors to learn and explore. Colorful ColorScape Shelving is versatile with a combination of flat shelves and display shelves. Lower height units are mobile for added flexibility. Varied shelving heights add interest and meet the different needs of the collection. The picture book collection is housed in high-capacity ColorScape browser bins that encourage face-out browsing.
Organic, leaf-shaped seating adds pops of color throughout the space. This Arcadia Leaflette lounge seating is perfect for both children and adults to sit comfortably.
Cylindrical displays merchandise the collection and invite visitors into the space. Face-out picture book browsers and digital displays offer even more interest to the entrance of the Children’s Room.
Children’s Program Room
The children’s program room is completely reconfigurable with mobile furniture. It includes tables that fold and nest in order to make room for group activities requiring the use of open floor space. ColorScape Mobile Browser Bins provide convenient storage for books and other materials.
Carrels, along with comfortable soft-seating, for individualized quiet study are interspersed in nooks throughout the library.
Local History and Genealogy
The Sargeant Memorial Collection is an important collection that now has a permanent home on the second floor of the renovated Seaboard building. Conventional media storage cabinets and flat files are encased in wood surrounds for an aesthetically pleasing finish while protecting and storing these valuable collections. The upper level of the building has a digital interface that allows visitors to peruse the historic collections via digital means.
Mobile Service Points
The lower level of the Seaboard building features a large computer lab and training space. Small scale service points are mobile and adaptable. Sign-up kiosks encourage self-service access to the numerous computers.
Sleek Parson’s tables and graceful Windsor-style chairs outfit the large reading rooms among the majestic architecture of the Seaboard building. Reading rooms in other areas of the library feature the same Parson’s tables and chairs to keep a consistent look.