Modular libraries project

Templates to assist councils in the design of library spaces

The State Library has worked with architects from fjmt studio  to develop a series of library plan templates. These templates include library layouts of various sizes and additional modules that can be put together to create usable library spaces of different sizes. These modules could also be used to extend existing library spaces, for example to include additional seating areas or a meeting room.

In planning a public library building to meet the needs of your community please see People Places for guidance, in particular to assist you in determining the size of the library space required for your population and the catchment area of the library.

Where small spaces are needed to meet local requirements, the following information may be useful. 

Library plan templates

The library plan templates are provided in four sizes: 190 square metres (the minimum recommended library size), 250, 500 and 1,000 square metres. All plans are in a scale of 1:200 when printed on A3 paper. The templates are provided as 2.5 x 2.5 metre modules which provide a  simple arrangement along both axes. Templates are also provided for each size in 4.8 x 12 metre modules. These are compatible with standard building material lengths at 1.2 metre increments.

The templates are provided as a guide and it may be appropriate to mix and match some of the components.  A range of service desks have been included in the plans. These are of different sizes, some providing space for a range of tasks whereas others are more suitable for a 'roving reference' type service.  There is also an option for a service desk combined with the public access computer area.  State Library Consultants can help you to determine the appropriate service desk for your needs. Photos on our service points Pinterest board may be useful.

Library plans: 2.5 x 2.5 metres

PDF icon 190 and 250 square metres PDF icon 500 square metres PDF icon 1000 square metres

Library plans: 2.4 x 3 metres

PDF icon 190, 250 and 500 square metres PDF icon 1000 square metres

Library plans: illustrative diagram

These diagrams show a '3 dimensional' view of the library layouts to help visualise how the design will look.

PDF icon 190 square metres PDF icon 250 square metres PDF icon 500 square metres PDF icon 1000 square metres

Additional modules

These additional modules can be added to the standard templates above. For example if you have a planned building of 568 square metres you could use the 500 square metre template from above and add two additional seating/shelving modules from below. The modules can also be used to help design an extension to an existing library building. For example if you have a library of suitable layout and design but without a meeting room and you have the opportunity to extend the current library you could add on one of the meeting modules.

There are two different versions of the modules. The larger scale versions make it easier to see what is in each module. The smaller scale versions  are on a scale of 1:200 when printed on A3 paper. These are the same scale as the library plan templates and are provided so that the modules and templates can be used together when planning a library space.

Seating and shelving areas

Seating and shelving modules Seating and shelving  modules 1:200 scale


Meeting rooms

Meeting modules Meeting modules 1 1:200 scale Meeting modules 2 1:200 scale Meeting modules 3 1:200 scale


Please contact your State Library consultant if you need assistance using the templates.