How to Design a Library that Makes Kids Want to Read

Post by Kim Chaney

Topic: Library Design, ID

Bierut, M. (2017). How to design a library that makes kids want to read. Retrieved from


In this TED talk, Michael Bierut discusses how he had an unintended consequence in his library design project that caught on and beautifully infiltrated the New York City schools. As a graphic designer he was tasked with developing a logo for The School Library Initiative. This was a project spearheaded by the Robin Hood foundation, a philanthropic organization geared to enrich the lives to lower income students. In the process of failing to succeed on his logo project, he opened the door to complete library redesigns that brought in the local culture of the community. After one successful redesign, the idea spread throughout the New York City school system. The TED talk discusses his process and highlights some of the library transformations he was a part of.


I found this to be a highly inspiring TED talk (as most of them are), especially for a new school librarian who has the opportunity take over a library that is in need of an update. Through his own experience and humor, Bierut brings to light ways that a librarian can update his/her library space in very simple ways. While his redesign ideas were more involved, using local artists and photographers, the images provide ideas that can easily be done in a public school