November 19, 2014

Indianapolis Approves $58 Million in Bonds for Libraries

Indianapolis Public Library Central Branch

Indianapolis Public Library (IPL)’s modernization plan, which involves renovating five branches, relocating five others, and building one brand new facility, will get started next month after area lawmakers voted on Nov. 10 to approve $58.5 million in bond issues over the next six years.

Blue-Ribbon Libraries | Library by Design

Top row: Midland Centennial Library, TX; Central Library, Bottom row, l.-r.: St. Louis Public Library, Glenmore Christian Academy Elemantray Library, Calgary Alta. Midland photo by Maxwell Filmworks; St. Louis photo  ©Timothy Hursley; Glenmore photo by Dawn Stringer, On A Wire Photography & Design

The Library Leadership and Management Association (LLAMA) , a division of the American Library Association (ALA), and the International Interior Design Association (IIDA) honored the winners of the 2014 Library Interior Design Awards at ALA’s annual conference held in Las Vegas in June. Over 200 entries were reviewed, and many of this year’s 19 winners have a vibrant and functional design that takes into consideration that libraries are more than ever a gathering space for their community.

The Library of the Century | Design4Impact

HIGH TECH Computer training lab (l.) and children’s Promethean ActivTable (r.) at Pikes Peak

Library 21c, the Pikes Peak Library District’s (PPLD) latest addition, is a centralized education and experimentation hub. The new two-story Colorado Springs library is the biggest building in the district, the second-largest in Colorado, supporting about 620,000 residents. Last year, the district had 3.6 million ­visitors. What makes this new library unique is the wide variety of opportunities under the same roof.

UpClose: Opening the Barn Door | Library by Design

UNLOCKING THE BARN DOOR (Clockwise, top l.) The café, study space, and exterior of England’s Cumbria barn blend traditional features with modern functionality

Two historical barns are transformed into modern libraries. One barn sits in Cumbria, England, a county once host to William Wordsworth, Beatrix Potter, and Arthur Ransome. Surrounded by the mountainous landscape of the UK’s largest national park, the traditional Cumbrian stone barn was constructed in Ambleside in 1929 by Charlotte Mason College.

A Local Library | Library by Design

TRADITION UPDATED The Gullah Geechee heritage collection (above) is encircled by woven wood. The columns outside the entryway (r.) evoke the island’s oak trees. The library’s design (inset) combines modern technology with natural materials

To walk into the St. Helena Public Library, SC, is to become immersed in contradiction. On the one hand, it’s modern—a 21st-century library guided by a Maker space philosophy, complete with 3-D printers, an animator, recording studio, littleBits and Makey Makey kits, and more state-of-the-art technology. Seamlessly coexisting with this sleek newness is a down-home Southern warmth and natural, earthy simplicity, with architectural details that embrace links to a unique culture with connections to West Africa.

Crossroads of Design | Library by Design

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In a time when the mission of libraries is rapidly evolving, how can we craft buildings that not only endure but thrive when meeting new challenges? This question underlined the learning at LJ’s Design Institute (DI) held May 16 in Salt Lake City. Presenters and peers asked attendees to redefine how they thought about sustainability, exploring the idea in terms of conserving energy and being environmentally responsible and looking at the sustainability of a building holistically—from how comfortable patrons and employees are to how the space can change to support new ventures, some of which designers and librarians might not have imagined yet.

Design Institute Design Challenges, Fall 2014 | Library by Design

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At LJ’s Design Institute: Salt Lake City, attendees in interactive brainstorming breakout sessions addressed design challenges posed by real life libraries in Texas, Washington, Idaho, Utah, and Arizona.

The Comeback Kids | Library by Design

STANDING STRONGER Birmingham’s Pratt City Branch came back from a 2011 tornado (inset) with an aerodynamic roofline built to channel winds and safeguard against future damage. Inside (bottom l.), computer stations (below) offer expanded capability after a tornado tore the roof off the building. Top photo by Chanda Temple/Birmingham PL; bottom photo by Melinda Shelton/Birmingham PL

Vision and determination are two of the qualities that various library leaders and architects around the country used to rebuild libraries demolished in a variety of natural disasters. A number of these libraries have emerged better connected to their communities and stronger than before.

Center for an Urban Future Re-Envisions New York’s Branch Libraries

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From the Andrew Carnegie–era temples of learning to the small cinderblock “Lindsay boxes” built during Mayor John Lindsay’s administration from 1966–1973, New York City’s 207 library branches are as varied as its population. And like much of the city, they are feeling the crunch of budget cuts and neglect.

The Way Upward | Design4Impact

THINGS ARE LOOKING UP The underside of VCL’s five-story floating staircase provides patrons with strong wayfinding from the start

Wayfinding in libraries is too often an afterthought. But not in Vancouver, WA, where the newly constructed Vancouver Community Library (VCL) had signage planned into the design. The Fort Vancouver Regional Library District hired the Miller Hull Partnership architects as well as wayfinding specialists Mayer/Reed and AldrichPears for “interpretive installation.” The result is an intuitive setup that gives patrons the broad brushstrokes at a glance, while being future-proof enough to accommodate shifts in the collection in the years to come.