March 29, 2017

Branching Out, February 2017

Michelle Obama Neighborhood Library

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.

Branching Out, January 2017

Clark Art Institute: Manton Research Center
Photo credit: Jeff Goldberg/Esto, Clark Art Institute

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.

Choosing Change in Charleston | Design Institute Design Challenges

BRING YOUR OWN Attendees brought their own tricky design dilemmas—and sometimes their own plans and props—to engage a variety of architects and vendors during the speed sessions. Top row, l.-r.: Joe Frueh from 3branch; and Bill Overton from Overton and Associates. Bottom row, l.-r.: VMDO’s Jim Kovach; and HBM’s Peter Bolek with Beth Steiner (ctr.) and Jenny Eyink, both from Auglaize County Public Library, OH. Photos by Kevin Henegan

At LJ’s Design Institute (DI): Charleston, held on Friday, October 21, at South Carolina’s Charleston County Public Library, attendees from around the United States delved into how best to transform their libraries to rise to their communities’ new challenges.

Small Libraries Create Smart Spaces Program Launches

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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.

Smith College Library Redesign Engages Maya Lin, Shepley Bulfinch

West elevation, Neilson Library renovation 
© 2016 Maya Lin Studio

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.

Branching Out, November 2016

Dee Brown Library
Photo courtesy of Fennell Purifoy Architects

Central Arkansas Library System’s Dee Brown Library relaunches; Tulsa City-County Central Library’s three-year remodel is open; Dayton Metro Library gets a new Vandalia Branch; and more new construction and renovation news from the November 15, 2016 issue of Library Journal.

Branching Out, October 2016

East Waco Library, TX
Photo courtesy of KWTX

East Waco Library, TX, reopens; Jersey City Free Public Library, NJ, is back after a renovation; Columbus Metropolitan Library, OH, has revamped and expanded its Northern Lights library; and more new construction and renovation news from the October 15, 2016 issue of Library Journal.

User-Designed Libraries | Design4Impact

TeenHQ Grand Opening at Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library
Photo courtesy of San José Public Library

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.

A Place to Belong, A Place That Belongs | 2016 Designing Libraries Conference Report

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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.

Thinking Big in Big Sky Country | Design Institute Design Challenges | Library by Design, Fall 2016

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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.