July 29, 2015

Design Institute Boston Design Challenges | Library by Design, Spring 2015

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Design challenges from the Gloucester Lyceum and Sawyer Free Library, the Kingston Public Library, The Newburgh Free Library, The Springfield City Library, and Towson University.

Design for People | Library by Design Spring 2015

1. The Main Library’s Guastavino Room was an impressive backdrop to registration
and lunch. 2. Attendees tossed around ideas during the Gloucester Lyceum/Sawyer
Free Library’s challenge session. 3. The Open Forum allowed for suggestions from
participating architects (l.–r.) Aimee G. Lombardo (LLB Architects), Peter Gisolfi
(Gisolfi Associates), Peter Bolek (HBM Architects), and Matthew Oudens (Oudens Ello
Architecture). 4. The challenge session for Maryland’s Towson University brought
about solid strategies. 5. The session on creative and inspirational spaces featured
experts (l.–r.) Conrad Ello (Oudens Ello Architecture), Michael Colford (director of
library services at Boston PL), moderator Emily Puckett Rodgers (School of Information,
University of Michigan), and Jeff Hoover (Tappé Architects). Photos by Kevin Henegan

Before Boston saw its first snowstorm of what would prove to be a very long winter, an enthusiastic group of architects, designers, vendors, and librarians convened at Boston Public Library’s (BPL) Central Library in Copley Square for LJ’s December 2014 Design Institute (DI). The first question of the event, posed by Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners library building consultant Lauren Stara, set the stage: “The shift to digital and changing user expectations means that even buildings only ten or 20 years old may already be out-of-date…. How do we build for an ever-changing ­environment?”

Branching Out, May 2015

Connecticut College completed $10 million library reno five months ahead of schedule; The Norfolk Public Library, NE, gained voter approval for a tax increase to fund its expansion, and more library construction and renovation news from the May 1, 2015, issue of Library Journal

Chicago Chosen as Site of Obama Library

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After 14 months of deliberations, the Barack Obama Foundation (BOF) chose the University of Chicago to host the Barack Obama Presidential Center (OPC) on Chicago’s South Side. The four finalists, selected from a pool of 13 applicants in September 2014, were New York’s Columbia University, the University of Hawaii (UH), the University of Chicago (UC), and the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC).

Room to Grow | Office Hours

Michael Stephens

A FEW YEARS AGO at the American Library Association’s (ALA) annual conference in Anaheim, CA, I had dinner with librarians from three large universities. The conversation turned to something they had in common: they were all moving print book collections at their respective institutions off-site to make room for student spaces. Back then, this was a big deal, and these administrators met with opposition and angst from their constituents.

Living Libraries: Green that gives back | Editorial

Rebecca T. Miller

We talk a lot about resilience when we discuss library sustainability. It is one of the trends identified by Miguel Figueroa, an LJ 2005 Mover & Shaker, in the recent “Forecasting the Future of Libraries” report. It encompasses a broad swath of library work—dynamic programming, deep and robust community commitment to the well-being of the institution, and facility design that can withstand the very real threats of extreme weather change that comes with global warming. Resilience also means creating buildings that don’t drain precious natural resources.

Branching Out, April 2015

New and renovated library news from San Diego, Detroit, and more from the April 1, 2015 issue of Library Journal.

Studying Use, Sharing Space | The User Experience

Aaron Schmidt

A big part of improving library user experience is designing libraries based on user preferences and behavior. There’s no way to optimize touchpoints or create meaningful services if you don’t know anything about who you’re trying to serve, right? Many libraries collect and analyze user opinions, but fewer dive deeper into examining actual user behavior.

Influencing Staff Creativity: How Good Leaders Get It Right | Leading from the Library

Steven Bell

Productive change depends on staff members who are working creatively to develop new ideas for better library services. Leaders can play an important role in helping staff to achieve higher levels of workplace creativity.

Cambridge Public Library Wins National Architecture Award

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More than five years after it first opened in November 2009, the renovated and expanded Cambridge Public Library (CPL) in Massachusetts is still receiving accolades. The American Institute of Architects (AIA) sent two judges to CPL this past November to evaluate the library for its prestigious Institute Honor Award for Architecture. The new library was designed by William Rawn Associates in conjunction with Ann Beha Architects, who handled the restoration of the original 1889 library. CPL has won 22 awards, including the Boston Society of Architects’ Harleston Parker Medal for “the single most beautiful building” built in the Boston area in the last ten years. It was also featured in the American Libraries Library Design Showcase (2010).