November 16, 2017

Branching Out | Library Design

A compilation of recent building projects and plans for more as they were presented in the Library Hotline newsletter, from May 1 through August 7, 2017

Balancing Connections and Collections | Library Design

In many types of libraries nationwide, staff are trying to make more space for people. Increasingly, libraries support learning that is social and emotional as well as intellectual, carving out room for learning commons, flexible spaces, quiet contemplation, and active collaboration.

Get Moving | Library Design

Quality 21st-century library design focuses on human health and well-being. Creating healthy indoor environments that physically connect us to the outdoors, offer access to daylight and views, and motivate us to move our bodies more is critical, since, according to the Environmental Protection Agency, on average, Americans spend 93 percent of their lives indoors. The focus on prioritizing daylight and views and incorporating biophilic tenets (which acknowledge the role of nature in human comfort and productivity) has increased awareness about the critical role the building plays in wellness.

How to Hot Spot | TechKnowledge

Wi-Fi hot spot lending can help bridge the digital divide by addressing a persistent problem: lack of Internet access at home among low-income families. Without such access, students are often unable to complete homework with an online component, and parents can’t effectively job hunt or apply for government and other ­services.

Design for Life

A soaring atrium can offer delight and inspiration. However, atria can also present a platform from which people can do themselves harm. Individuals looking for publicly accessible spaces to conduct self-inflicted violence have sought out libraries, including atria in the San Francisco Public Library’s main branch and the San José State University’s (SJSU) joint public-academic library. On the East Coast, libraries at New York University (NYU) and Brown University have experienced similar tragedies within the past decade.

Great Outdoor Spaces | Library Design

The best libraries don’t stop at the front door. Gardens and green roofs alike are beautiful and inspiring. The benefits of exposure to nature are much more than cosmetic: for individuals, research has related it to reduced stress, inflammation, and mortality; improved memory, job satisfaction, and eyesight; and greater social capital. For communities, successful public outdoor spaces not only improve the physical and mental health of residents, they have been shown to aid the environment, create a stronger sense of community, and even boost the economy.

Librarian Superpowers | Office Hours

Remember this? Essential Skills + Mind-set² x Support = Success. How does the formula for success hold up with an engaged group of international librarians working to build a model of the 21st-century library professional? At the Next Library Conference in Aarhus, Denmark, I found out, along with my workshop coleaders Jan Holmquist, assistant library director, Guldborgsund Public Library, Denmark, and Mylee Joseph, consultant, Public Libraries and Engagement Division, State Library of New South Wales, Australia.

No Time To Waste: Facing the Reality of Climate Breakdown | Editorial

The people of Texas and Louisiana are beginning to rebuild after Harvey, and the library community has stepped up to help. As we have seen in the aftermath of all too many disasters, the library infrastructure and network is critical. Not only do libraries provide refuge and expertise to put to work on relief efforts, but librarians consistently offer compassion and are ready to serve anyone in need.

A Culture of Opportunity | Best Small Library in America 2017

Idaho’s Boundary County Library District is the Best Small Library in America, 2017.