What you'll learn

  • Identify and understand emerging trends in library design and library interiors.
  • Recognize the impact of recent changes in information technology and equipment.
  • Understand of the process of working with library consultants, architects, and contractors.
  • Learn in-depth on library programming and planning considerations; space planning standards; program functional adjacencies, synergies, and library zoning.
  • Apply sustainable design strategies and biophilic principles for libraries.

Course description

Intended for architects and librarians, library staff, and trustees, this program examines the evolving role of the physical library in the changing digital information landscape.

While recognizing that the pandemic has permanently changed design thinking for libraries, we will transcend the pandemic-driven “problem solving” period in library design and encourage participants to conceive of the lasting opportunities the past several years has created for the coming decades. The course will be a broad platform for addressing libraries as:
• an essential element of civic infrastructure,
• platforms for meaningful community dialog,
• productive “think space” & “do space,” and
• the definitive resource for reliable information.

We will consider how future libraries can do this while being both a permanent artifact of contemporary culture and a moldable environment that stays constantly current and locally relevant. The program will cover the theoretical and the practical in an interactive and participatory class format. We will review cutting edge library systems and emerging best practices for library design. We will also examine the process and criteria for developing and realizing meaningful goals, whether in new construction, renovation, or expansion.

Topics include: 
• new models
• new service goals
• library programming and planning considerations
• library zoning for functional synergies
• building community support
• sustainable design for libraries

Program activities include lectures, discussions, virtual library planning and design exercises, virtual exploration, and evaluation of recent and proposed new library designs.

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