State Library
Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania

Library for all

Imagine an aged library building. Can you picture the dusty signs with lots of long complex numbers on them? Anyone looking for something here, really needs the patience to find it. We at inkl. cracked this tough nut joined forces with Schwerin interior designer Michael Baldauf! After a comprehensive accessibility analysis and a concept for accessibility for the building also the needs of people with limitations are considered. Therefore we have not only graphically polished up the wayfinding system, but also moved half of the library.

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Our biggest challenge: in the library, the book stock is changing constantly. Nothing remains where it is forever. Therefore the labelling had to be changeable and must allow for all possibilities. Inkl. took drastic measures on the former chaos and turned it into little bites that are easier to digest.

Instead of numbered rooms you will now find only numbers for subject areas. If the inventory moves, the number still remains the same. If the book stock moves the number will remain the same. The labeling system we came up with uses innovative magnets, so it can be expanded, reused and further developed at any time.

To further enhance the quality of the stay at the library we also set up reading corners. Striped wallpapers (it looks like a bookshelf) in the colours of the respective section create a good atmosphere.

And if you’re wondering why an ordinary library should consider people who are restricted in their mobility, are visually challenged or blind, we would like to bring up some politics here: Germany is one of the first countries to acknowledge the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. It has been committed to the comprehensive inclusion of people with disabilities since 2009.

So it is about time for a reorganisation – also in the Schwerin library.

Graphic concept

A pattern of coloured vertical lines is reminiscent of books in a bookshelf; extensive collection of pictograms for application in various areas of the library
A pattern of coloured vertical lines is reminiscent of books in a bookshelf; extensive collection of pictograms for application in various areas of the library
Chart of the interchangeable information on area, topic and room numbers in the state library
Overview sign with the room occupancies on the 4 levels of the state library

Instruction manual

instruction manual for the central printer with infographics and text
Foto showing the bookreturn with an infographic and text
instruction manual for the self-recording of borrowing with infographics and text
instruction manual for the locker with infographics and text

Design in detail

Photo of a coloured signalisation in the staircase of the library for orientation in the building complex
Inside a locker with the corresponding instruction manual
Photo with a view of a glass door with coloured stripes as door signalizations
Photo with view on a wall surface consisting of many coloured stripes in a corridor
Photo with a view of a coloured elevator sign right: Photo with view on the front side of a shelf of the library with magnetic signs for stock information and a book deposit table.
Photo of the main entrance door with inscription "Landesbibliothek" and a full-surface design with colourful stripes, which are an important part of the guidance system.

Inclusion in use

A young blind woman reads the tactile maps at the service counter of the library.
Two images; left: detail of fingers on a tactile map of the library; right: four tactile maps embedded in the service counter also offer the possibility of orientation within the library
A young woman sitting in a wheelchair at the service counter of the library, which is accessible for wheelchairs.
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Project details

Client: Operation for construction and real estate in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania
and Office for Culture and the Preservation of Historical Monuments in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania.

Project period: 2016 – 2019

Project partners: Büro Baldauf

Project specifications: Comprehensive accessibility analysis, inclusion concept for visitors with disabilities, analysis of orientation needs, advice on planning services for tactile floor indicators in outdoor and indoor areas, conception of a wayfinding system, product design of a wayfinding system with updatable elements, conception of barrier-free elements of a wayfinding system (2-sense principle), pictograms, layout and graphic design, production support