March EverySpace public consultation

EverySpace Aims

  • A co-managed space at March Library that enables the community to connect, share, create and discover.
  • A flexible and adaptable space that has the potential to transform and expand library uses and programming.
  • A space that can help facilitate digital inclusion by allowing people to learn and develop digital skills in technology and media.
  • An accessible and inclusive space that will allow more people and community groups to participate in and deliver programming and become active users of the library.

Stakeholder, Partner and Young People Workshops

We conducted 2 young people workshops and 14 interviews with project partners and stakeholders to build a picture of the potential programming and uses of EverySpace, as well as learning how the existing libraries and spaces are used. These interviews included:

  • Library Development Team,
  • Cambridge Central and March Library Staff,
  • The Library Presents,
  • Cambs Youth Panel,
  • Early Help,
  • Cambridgeshire Skills,
  • 20Twenty Productions,
  • Business and Intellectual Property Centre,
  • Fenland + Young Fenland Cultural Consortium,
  • Health Information Team,
  • Think Communities.
Stills from the series of stop-motion animations produced during the EverySpace Swiss Army Furniture Workshops, where young people created multifunctional model furniture. There are also a few photos taken during the event.  They show:   1) A blue silhouette walking towards a chair that is simultaneously a lamp.   2) A wooden frame on wheels with a colourful handmade “disco ball” hanging from it.   3) The hands of a child holding a cube of fabric, with a pair of yellow scissors in the background.   4) A purple plasticine figure next to a cupboard with a blue panel and three colourful buttons at the front.   5) A desk with a chest of drawers underneath.   6) A cradle with an elongated turquoise pane above it.   7) A group of children sitting around a craft table at the Swiss Army Furniture Workshop.  8) A bathtub cut in half to create an armchair and a stand for a TV screen.   9) Two children working on their multifunctional furniture creations.   10) A yellow silhouetted figure approaching a rocking chair.   11) A blue silhouetted figure approaching a cupboard decorated with a drawing of a sunset and a small book made out of felt.   12) A blue silhouetted figure next to a wooden rocking horse on wheels with a seat attached.
Still images and photos from the stop-motion animations

Quotes from the stakeholder and partner interviews (included in the image):  

  1. "Taster sessions remain tasters, unless there is something following them. We need to develop longer term programming." The Fenland Consortium

  2. "The perfect solution would be something that can allow events and workshops programming during library hours." The Library Presents

  3. "We would love if young people could say "wow!" as they walk into the space, and become instantly inspired." 20Twenty Productions

  4. "March is a brilliant daytime space, but there is a challenge in creating the correct sound, space and atmospheres to inspire creativity." The Fenland Consortium

  5. "The space is set up in an outdated way... We need to bring people together for learning, with new technology such as tablets or devices." Cambridgeshire Skills

  6. "We would do better with comfortable furniture... we sometimes have 20 people having coffee but nowhere to put their cups!" March Library Staff

Proposals

Floor plans

A hand drawing of the proposed EverySpace at March Library. The image shows a man with headphones on, inside a mobile recording studio on wheels. Near the entrance, three children play with construction blocks. An elderly person sits on a mobile bench reading a newspaper, and in the background on the righthand side you can see more children sitting on the floor playing, next to two women on another mobile bench. Behind them, a person is sitting in an alcove. On the lefthand side, in an area separated by acoustic curtains, you can see a sitting audience watching an event.
Illustration of EverySpace proposal
A floor plan of the proposed EverySpace at March Library showing how it fits into the wider library plan. More detailed description in text.
Plan Layout of EverySpace Proposal: 1:100

In the EverySpace area you can see railings for acoustic curtains, which can partition the space, two pivoting walls, a row of mobile enclosures, and several mobile benches forming a sitting area.  

On the left, where Everyspace occupies one end of the library, a lecture scenario is shown set up.  

On the right, Everyspace occupies a smaller space, with walls on three sides and open on one side.  It accommodates some mobile elements including a small podcast area and a mobile tea point with sink. 

A hand drawing of the proposed layout for March Library from an elevated angle. It shows how the EverySpace area is integrated in the wider library space, which is portrayed in white.
Axonometric Drawing of EverySpace Proposal with wider library shown in white

Mobile furniture menu

Description in text
Pivoting walls, acoustic curtains and mobile workstations.

Image shows:

  • A drawing of a foldable “pivoting wall”, which can be closed to open up the space, and a photo of one in use at Fore Street Library in London. The image shows a woman closing a bay of shelving to create an open space.
  • A drawing of a set of acoustic curtains, and a photo of a green pair in use at Médiathèque L’Alpha, where they create an enclosed space.
  • A drawing of a mobile workstation, and a photo of one at Fore Street Library in London. The image shows a desk on wheels, a computer chair, and a PC connected to power and data hanging from the ceiling.
Description in text
Mobile enclosures, mobile sink and tea point and mobile benches

Image shows:

  • A drawing of a mobile enclosure, and a photo of two children sitting in one. The wooden unit can be closed and tucked away, but when open it creates two comfortable cushioned alcoves.
  • A drawing of a mobile tea point and a photo of one, with a sink, two taps, wipeable surfaces and drawers.
  • A drawing of mobile benches and a photo of a set in use at the Suhrkamp Verlag Offices. The wooden base doubles as a bookshelf and two people are sitting on the blue cushions on top, while a third person stands by the windows in the background.

Scenarios

Scenario 1

  1. There is nothing currently programmed in EverySpace. The space is being used as a neutral space where people can informally study, read, relax or gather.
  2. The store room remains locked and only accessed when booked or through programmed activities.

A larger partition includes tables, chairs, and mobile benches, and a smaller area features more seating and access to a mobile tea point. 

A set of two images, labelled “Programmatic Uses” and “Programmatic Separation”, which show the EverySpace when there’s no programming happening.  The bottom image, “Programmatic Separation”, shows the area highlighted in yellow and labelled “unprogrammed library use”. There’s also a small area highlighted in blue and labelled “Lockable store”. The top half, “Programmatic Uses”, shows the layout in more detail.
A design key for the layouts, showing the colour schemes used to represent existing the building fabric, proposed fixed elements and mobile elements, the site boundary, and a proposed hard floor finish.  This is followed by a furniture key, showing how the layout depicts static storage units, pivoting walls, acoustic curtains, a mobile screen, mobile tables, enclosures and workstations, a mobile sink and tea point, and a mobile soundproof booth.
Design key for scenarios

Scenario 2

This scenario shows  EverySpace being simultaneously used for two simultaneous events.

  1. The 20Twenty Productions Leaders and Thinkers Programme run a workshop on robotics for 24 young people.
  2. March Libraries regular Scrabble Group meet to play Scrabble in the smaller intimate space with access to tea and coffee.

The more detailed layout shows that the workshop area features four tables and chairs, plus a circle of mobile benches for group activities, while the scrabble group area also features a circle of benches and access to the mobile tea point. 

Two plans show simultaneous events. The bottom image highlights the larger area where the workshop is taking place in yellow and the smaller area for the scrabble group in blue.

Scenario 3

  1. The Library Presents or 20Twenty run a live performance, outside library opening hours, for 40 people. A performance foyer with refreshments is provided for the audience to retreat to before, during or after the performance.

The more detailed layout shows a performance green room with seating, an events foyer area, and a larger partitioned performance area where rows of chairs face a stage. 

A set of two images showing the EverySpace in use for a live performance for 40 people - description in text

Scenario 4

This scenario shows the EverySpace in simultaneous use for rhymetime and for a weekly craft group meeting. 

  1. The Children’s Library is being used for another event, so Rhyme Time is taking place in EverySpace with plenty of run around space.
  2. The weekly Craft Group of 14 people meet on Tuesday. They make themselves tea and coffee and clean up using the sink station.

The larger rhymetime space, highlighted in blue in the bottom image, includes a semi-circle of chairs and some mobile benches on the back of the room. The area is partitioned with acoustic curtains. The craft group area, highlighted in yellow, has two tables surrounded by four chairs each. The two areas share a space near the entrance where there are additional mobile benches and access to the tea point and sink. 

A set of two images showing the EverySpace in use for two events - description in text.

Equipment and digital uses

Two photos, the first of which shows the inside of a recording studio, showing a microphone, stand, and sound insulated walls.  The second photo shows the inside of a similar recording studio, this time with a laptop with sound editing software, a microphone, and a sign that says, “On air”.
1. Podcasting and sound studio