May 11, 2018

Discovering Fun and Comfort | Year in Architecture 2017

Throughout the yearlong renovation of the Indian Trails Public Library District, Wheeling, IL, the library stayed focused on reimagining the facility as a vibrant, active, and engaging community space. The result? Private study rooms, a Maker space, larger capacity in program rooms, expanded youth services, and a comfortable place to study and work. CREDITS: Product Architecture + Design, architect; McShane Fleming Studios, photo.

At “Discovery Island,” the new kid space at the Laurel Library, Prince George’s County Memorial Library System, MD, children enter via a cavelike opening in a stone wall, emerging onto a lush tropical island where they are greeted by reading nooks tucked into the greenery. The exploration zone, intended to promote early literacy, occupies an addition that is fun to its foundations: a complete model Nanotyrannus skeleton is encased in the glass floor. CREDITS: Grimm + Parker Architects, architect; Sam Kittner, photo.

The Central Branch of the Cranston Public Library, RI, renovated its Children’s Room to improve sight lines and create age-appropriate zones. The hexagon sitting wall offers cozy seating for reading that supports interaction with patrons at a child-friendly height. CREDITS: LLB Architects, architect; Nat Rea, photo.


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Bette-Lee Fox About Bette-Lee Fox

Bette-Lee Fox ( is Managing Editor, Library Journal.

Celebrating her 46th year with Library Journal, Bette-Lee also edits LJ’s Video Reviews column, six times a year Romance column, and e-original Romance reviews, which post weekly as LJ Xpress Reviews.

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