Michelle Obama Neighborhood Library opens in Long Beach, CA; Tufts Central Library, Weymouth, MA, gets OK on new facility; Cook Memorial Public Library District, Vernon Hills, IL, to expand; and more new construction and renovation news from the February 15, 2017 issue of Library Journal.
Albany Public Library, NY, Board of Trustees refinanced $29.1 million in bonds to improve five branches; the Ashtabula County District Library, OH, reopened; Clark Art Institute’s Manton Research Center, Williamstown, MA, was completed; and more new construction and renovation news from the January 1, 2017 issue of Library Journal.
Starting in 2017, 15 small and rural public libraries from across the United States will participate in the Small Libraries Create Smart Spaces project, an 18-month training program aimed at reimagining and reconfiguring libraries to support active learning, foster social connections, and be places of continued discovery. The project will lead participating libraries through four stages of training, help them to develop an online cohort, and connect their work to the profession at large. Led by a project team of WebJunction, a program of OCLC Research, the project is funded by a National Leadership Grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) in partnership with the Association for Rural and Small Libraries (ARSL). Participating libraries will receive $5,000 toward their space redesigns.
On October 14 architect Maya Lin unveiled her plans for the new William Allan Neilson Library at Smith College, Northampton, MA. The drawings and model for the extensive renovation of the library, which will include upgrades and alterations to the original building and the replacement of two previous additions, were met with approval by the gathering of students, faculty, and administration at Smith’s Sweeney Concert Hall—not surprising, as they were only part of a years-long visioning process that involved thousands of the college’s community members from campus to town.
These days, collecting deep public input before the design phase of a new construction or renovation of a library is de rigueur, with methods ranging from focus groups to community outreach to social media. But a few libraries are taking it to the next level, not just finding out what patrons need or value and filtering that through the lens of librarian and architect expertise but also letting users directly drive design decisions in collaboration with the professionals.
The fifth annual Designing Libraries for the 21st Century conference, held at the University of Calgary in Calgary, Alberta, spotlighted “Innovations with Impact,” and featured voices from the design, library, and education worlds. The conference brought together about 250 practitioners from across the world.
Susan F. Gregory, director of the Bozeman Public Library, MT, welcomed attendees of LJ’s Design Institute (DI) to the Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) Silver-certified building this May. Opened in 2006, the facility is at once both warmly rustic, clearly inspired by its spectacular mountain setting, and right on trend with the best of national library design. It offers open sight lines, a lofty roof with metal accents, lots of glass (balanced by plenty of wood), hands-on tech, and spaces for people inside and out, making it the perfect setting for attendees to plan the right library for their own communities.