August 2, 2015

Branching Out, July 2015

Perdue’s $798 million Active Learning Center, to consolidate six libraries, will open in 2017; Gwinnett County and the City of Lilburn, GA, broke ground on a combined Lilburn City Hall and branch library; and more Branching Out news about new construction and renovations from the July 2015 issue of Library Journal.

AKA “The Student Success Center” | From the Bell Tower

Steven Bell

“Library” sounds dated and can make for a hard sell with trustees and potential donors. How about something with a little more pizzazz?

Lee Van Orsdel Re-Thinks Library Design

Mary Idema Pew Library

When Michigan’s Grand Valley State University (GSVU) built a new library a few years ago, Dean of Libraries Lee Van Orsdel wanted staff and stakeholders alike to throw out the rulebook on library design. The result was an acclaimed space that has been a hit with GVSU students, driving more traffic to the library and changing how students use it—changes that in turn have even influenced other industries.

Librarians’ Picks | Library by Design, Spring 2015

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New construction/renovations offer the opportunity to try new ideas in furnishings and design. Here are a few that delighted staff and users alike.

Product Sourcebook | Library by Design, Spring 2015

Lake Collection (top l.)
Arcadia Spot (top r.)
MOSS | 3 Collection (middle l.)
Cellular (middle r.)
America (bottom r.)

Library by Design’s new Product Sourcebook, debuting here, spotlights a curated selection of newly introduced library furnishings and finishings in key purchasing categories, which will rotate in each issue. This inaugural version highlights soft seating and displays.

Branching Out | Library by Design, Spring 2015

Mitchell Park Library and Community Center, Palo Alto, CA

SOUTH The new Northside Branch of the Jefferson-Madison Regional Library, Charlottesville, VA, opened on March 16. The 30,000 square foot, $11.8 million facility in what was a hardware supply store replaces its 16,000 square foot 1991 shopping center predecessor. The HBM Architects–designed library features a Maker space; conference rooms; a dedicated teen space with music […]

Branching Out, June 2015

Chula Vista Public Library, CA, opened community space, the Hub; renovation of the Jamaica Plain Branch of the Boston Public Library will begin on August 1, and more new construction and renovation news from the June 1, 2015 issue of Library Journal.

Boston Public Library’s Redesign in Progress

Children's Library 1

The average age of users in the newly renovated second floor of Boston Public Library’s (BPL) Johnson Building has come down at least a decade, according to BPL President Amy Ryan, and it’s easy to see why. The goal was to create a library that is flexible and responsive to user needs. BPL’s management is serious about the principles in its strategic plan, called the Compass. “We take those eight principles very seriously. We even take fun (Principle #8) seriously…. It really is about the user, the expectations of the user of all ages.” said Amy Ryan, BPL’s CEO.

Rethink the Staff Workplace | Library by Design, Spring 2015

COLLABORATE & LISTEN Staff, like patrons, need flexible spaces in which 
to work together, as illustrated by North Carolina State University’s Hunt Library. 
Photo by Brent Brafford/NCSU

As libraries make their public-facing spaces more people-focused and mobile tech makes big us/them service desks obsolete, it’s important to ensure that staff have creativity-enhancing spaces of their own along with the work processes, tools, and training to be effective.

Serving Two Masters | Library by Design, Spring 2015

A NATURAL PARTNERSHIP The Tidewater Community College/City of Virginia Beach Joint-Use Library balances unique design against the retention ponds created to absorb rainwater. Photo ©Jeff Goldberg/Esto

Joint-use libraries, especially partnerships between public libraries and colleges, are rare but not unheard of. In an era of belt-tightening, pooling resources with a partner that shares many of your institution’s goals can be a tempting proposition for schools and cities alike. It’s complex, but as seen at the Tidewater Community College/City of ­Virginia Beach Joint-Use Library, opened in 2013, it can also be extremely rewarding.