July 25, 2017

Librarians’ Picks | Library Design 2017

Furnishings of note from recent library projects.

Community Vision | Library Design 2017

Montana’s Belgrade Community Library is perhaps best known to LJ readers as the 2015 Best Small Library in America. After receiving the award, Director Gale Bacon tells LJ, many in the community started asking what the library’s next step was. The 9,700 square foot building presented the six-person staff with “huge physical space challenges,” Bacon says—not only limiting the size of the collection and staff work space but having routinely to turn would-be attendees away from programs. So achieving this milestone seemed like the right time for reexamination.

Rising Above | Library Design 2017

By the time it opens in 2018, the Calgary Public Library’s (CPL) new Central Library will have been 14 years in the making. In 2004, the City of Calgary, Alta., first allocated funding to study its residents’ future library needs. Since then it has committed a whopping $175 million (in Canadian dollars, or $128 million U.S.) to the project, out of a total estimated cost of $245 million (about $180 million U.S.).

Raising Arizona State | Library Design 2017

After the impact of the recession, Arizona State University (ASU) bounced back with an ambitious agenda of innovation, positioning itself as the “New American University.” ASU prides itself instead on being “measured not by whom it excludes but by whom it includes and how they succeed,” and now ASU’s flagship library is reinventing itself to serve the whole student.

Timely & Timeless | Library Design 2017

The 2017 AIA/ALA Library Building Awards recognize eight outstanding new libraries and renovations.

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

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.

Librarians’ Picks | Library by Design, Fall 2016

Librarians who have recently completed building projects are eager to share their choices for design that raises the bar above the expected.

(Re) Open Concept | Library by Design 2016

The story of the Columbus Metropolitan Library (CML), OH, main library renovation is a familiar one these days: indeed, it has become practically archetypal. A gorgeous old Carnegie, opened in 1907, had long since been outgrown. Over the century and with four additions, it had been married to expansions—the most recent bringing the library to more than 250,000 square feet. Done in 1991, at the height of the trend of stack-centric libraries designed to maximize collections, this latest reformation included virtually no windows, lest the books be damaged by sunlight. Now, a people-first renovation has gently polished the Carnegie and dramatically opened up the addition, thinning the (still ample) collection to focus on space for community in the form of events, meetings, coworking, and simply relaxing and reading—perhaps with a cup of coffee from the new Carnegie Café.

Windows on Boston | New Landmark Libraries 2016

The transformation is evident even before visitors enter. Moving down Boylston Street from Copley Square, past the side of the historic McKim Building, the façade of the Boston Public Library (BPL) no longer resembles a bunker. The massive granite slabs that once obscured the entrance are now embedded in the pavement. Through the glass, passersby can see people lining a laptop bar. It’s 10:30 on a Thursday morning, and the place is jamming.

Product Sourcebook | Library by Design, Spring 2016

With so many Americans sitting for hours at work, and so many studies showing that inactivity is problematic to health outcomes, incorporating furniture and fixtures that encourage fitness and physical activity into the library is a way to help patrons in the here and now and let them try out options for future home use.