Libraries today are playing a redefined and reinvigorated role in engaging learners of all ages, beginning with the very young. At the Norton Shores Branch Library in Muskegon, Michigan, a new 3,400-square-foot addition will support the “Storyville” concept, created to foster early literacy and school readiness skills. The concept is designed for infants and children up to age five, with seven themed play areas. Within these realms, young children build skills in many key areas, including social interaction, language, literacy, mathematical and scientific thinking, the arts, and physical development. The library anticipates that the innovative addition will also create opportunities for parents to learn how to engage and teach their children. 
 
On college and university campuses, libraries are important destinations for much more than reading and independent study. The renovation of the 114,000-square-foot Mardigian Library at the University of Michigan, Dearborn, will soon transform the building into an educational and social hub as well as the center of campus life. 
 
With a completely reorganized interior, the library will support diverse learning styles, foster collaboration, and leverage mobile computing. Spaces will include a Learning Commons, where students and faculty can exchange ideas, and a Partner Commons, connecting students to industry and community leadership. A dedicated Graduate Center will provide presentation and support spaces, and a first-floor addition will facilitate community outreach through the creation of new event, gallery, and café space