Portland, Powell’s, Place

[Another post from Sam, libraries and public space on tour—explanation here.]

One night in Portland means I head directly to Powell’s. Primary mission: I need a book for the next few flights. Also, Powell’s always gives me ideas and inspiration for the Uni. Powell’s, of course, has serious inventory. They’ve also got deep experience creating an inviting place around books. Here are my notes for the Uni Librarians:

The master plan for Powell's, a City of Books. Love the slogan. Love the organization.

Today, I'm thinking about seating. (We're in the midst of a 2.0 design on the Uni benches.) Powell's has a practical approach: always variety of places to sit, including colorful foot stools used by staff to reach high shelves or by patrons to sit.

Water and a place to sit. In public space or inside, solving simple problems makes people happy and let's them focus on books.

Deep, waist high surfaces in the Art section for browsing oversize books.

I'm always keen to see book carts. Powell's has a variety, relying primarily on these sturdy, easy-to-fix, wood carts.

Some more expensive items behind plexiglass and padlock. We're working on a new solution for the Uni 2.0 design for securing books in public at night.

Chalk signage. Low fidelity. Reliable. We use it too.

Thanks Powell's.

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