Architect Tran Nguyen Quang – General Director of Sunjin Vietnam Joint Venture Company

Entering the 21st century – the digital era, when humanity lives and learns in a world exploding in information and knowledge, the school library architecture also needs to be drastically transformed to take advantage of the advantages of digital technology. technology, creating a comprehensive innovation in teaching and learning methods of teachers and students, maximizing learning subjects, as well as bringing many common development values ​​to the community. Around the world, the ideas of library designs applying digital technology in the 21st century are said to be many advantages compared to the old traditional school library model in which the focus has shifted from library architecture. as a confined space to a library with flexible boundaries layered by diverse needs and influenced by an interactive community. And school libraries in Vietnam in the future are no exception.

Design of Cau Giay Secondary School (Hanoi) with library space applying digital technology 4.0

Scientific studies on educational psychology and social sciences have all shown new requirements in which: “Libraries and especially school libraries cannot be just a place where there are layers of books on the shelves – and people who read like bookworms as before. Instead, libraries need to position themselves as community hubs; provide for common needs as well as endless learning possibilities.” In the digital era, with the advent of unprecedented new trends such as: the shared economy, shared services ( Shared Services), self-service (Self-Service), e-books (E-book)…, the scope of school library space design has become much wider, requiring a close combination of both knowledge and skills. architecture and technology, creating a suitable and comfortable new learning and research environment, but also minimizing negative and harmful impacts.


In an increasingly “flattening” world, there is a growing need for user-friendly, beautifully designed school libraries that provide students with multiple options to connect or disconnect. Disconnecting from crazy technology is more important than ever. This highlights the fact that instead of having a 21st century digital library architecture that forces users to access and use technology, it offers diverse choices according to the needs and interests of students. as long as it brings positive effects in students’ thinking and self-study process. It would be very foolish to completely remove it and just use the new technology library architecture. Books and printed materials should be given the opportunity to blend harmoniously with the “technology partners” of the 21st century. A design that inherits the architectural design foundations of the library space is needed. Old institute with 21st century digital technology application.

In addition to arranging a school library environment with adequate lighting and comfortable microclimate, limiting external and internal noise through design solutions and using materials, the key To provide various usable environments in the library is to divide the space into well-defined areas, with specific and specialized purposes. Consider allocating carefully selected areas so students can browse quietly on their mobile phones. On the other hand, limiting unnecessary “beep, beep…” sounds of electronic devices is hindering the thinking process of other students. Organize spaces where phones and devices are not allowed to be used clearly. The use of laptops should be restricted to certain areas and provide appropriate interior facilities such as shelves, cabinets, plugs, etc. to avoid students placing laptops on their laps. Each space should be designed with its own identity and comfort standard to provide cozy library spaces for individual reading and soundproof meeting rooms for teamwork.


Layout of a traditional reading space in a digital library in Taiwan (China)

In order for students to have effective access, it is necessary to organize a reasonable traffic route. Spaces to access printed books and digital resources, should be organized “at every student’s fingertips” and seamlessly organized as a seamless flow between genres, styles, and physical and digital resources . The traditional bookshelves sorted in alphabetical order are arranged reasonably so that students can quickly switch to the areas with power cords, internet jacks, projectors, etc.


Multi-purpose space, cafe, break room arranged flexibly in school libraries in Taiwan (China)

A library space designed to focus on students, enhance learning and self-development in a diverse and dynamic way.

The application of digital technology offers the opportunity to comprehensively innovate learning, research and education methods for schools in the 21st century, designing a school library using digital technology also offers opportunities to focus Focusing on the personality and interests of each student, taking the student as the center, helping students choose many different methods to access information, learn and improve themselves as well as develop synchronously. both hard and soft skills. Therefore, the architectural design and space organization in the school library also need a different change. And key takeaways include:

– Suitable for various age groups: cozy, friendly, intuitive and attractive with high recognition in all function rooms of the library, especially at the entry and transition points. . Space is expressed in breakout areas with soft seating creating a library-like “living room” feel.

– Flexible application of open design solutions: flexibly arrange open spaces in large areas, convenient to move flexibly to functional spaces, minimizing physical barriers, type remove sitting in closed rooms or private rooms, while emphasizing opportunities for interaction, exchange and learning between groups and the student community.

– Promote interactivity: A space designed for users to work together, using technology to access information and share ideas, brainstorm, innovate, and practice presenting and working together. each other in projects. Collaborative learning spaces are often designed as flexible layouts that are easily reconfigured with movable furniture.

Multipurpose, mixed organization: Multipurpose spaces in high school libraries can be places where informal conversation, collaboration, and learning are encouraged, facilitated, and expected. A social space also aims to support learning and leisure activities, events, with cafes/cafés and dispensing spaces.

Model library application of information technology platform 4.0 in Taiwan (China)

Expansion of physical library environments with digital technology-based applications: In the debate about the architectural model of organizing school library space in the 21st century, many opinions focus on the future. of school libraries between the organization of paper documents versus electronic or physical and digital books. Instead of seeing technology as a traditional alternative, many ideas suggest that digital technology is the foundation for enhancing the library space for its users. Libraries can use a combination of paper books, iPads, and digital augmented reality environments platforms to create customized learning environments for students that can interact with content, technology, space and with each other to enhance knowledge.

This is an architectural model that organizes a multi-dimensional school library space to promote the maximum development of each individual, personalize learning with the integration of new technology, and finally a library learning space. Connecting students to technology, information and extracurricular learning. The focus is on holistic learning that can happen both inside and outside the classroom.

The space is a blend of physical and virtual environments, allowing both teachers and a new generation of students to choose the right space to facilitate diverse teaching and learning. Learning methods are both flexible and adaptable to the needs of individuals and groups, both small and large. This is an area where professional development, learning and research can be nurtured, explored and analyzed by providing a range of different dynamically zoned centers of activity. Powerful digital learning protocols need to accommodate multiple uses such as active learning, computing, and distance learning with easy transitions for students and teachers.

Studio area and integrated digital interaction in the school library space in Taiwan

Augmented library space: Like voice user interface design, augmented reality (AR) is in its infancy and new approaches are constantly emerging. But the combination of digital information overlays in real-world environments offers huge potential for providing contextual convenience and support.

Artivive – a platform for artists to use AR is an example of how new, enhanced experiences are being delivered in museum and gallery spaces – and it demonstrates the potential of AR in delivering engaging, story-driven experiences in other public spaces.

And not just specialized platforms and specialized applications for Augmented Reality, but also emerging tools that help deliver these experiences directly through the browser, such as WebAR.

The Digital Library Wall (DLib Wall) at the University of Bedford (UK) has 154,000 books on 6km of virtual shelves and is open 24/7 during term time or the Twitter Wall at Museum London , a geotagged real-time analysis of tweets in London, is a prime example of an extremely engaging, user-driven interaction space.

For colleges and universities, in the common area, no one prohibits students from wanting to talk, food and drink are allowed, and cooperative behavior is encouraged. Cafés and vending machines are standard, and many of the stores are open 24/7.

Enhanced library space at Bedford High School and Twitter Wall space at Museum London (UK)


When each student has the ability to carry a global library on a device in his or her pocket, the role of school library spaces can not only be eliminated but become even more important, because they are not It is not only a place to store physical and numerical resources, but also a place to develop methods of exploiting and using knowledge resources. 21st century digitally applied libraries provide a friendly communal space that encourages discovery, creativity, and collaboration between students, teachers, and the wider community, developing new possibilities. Personalization at a higher level of specialization and customization – Bringing together the best of physical and digital to create learning hubs. Ultimately, 21st century digital libraries will continue to inspire students to build new knowledge and meaning from the world around them./.

(Hoang Phương edited)