Posted by: bluesyemre | November 29, 2017

Library Journal’s Top Trends in #LibraryArchitecture (Year in Architecture 2017)


The attitude toward the library has changed since the institution’s early days as a place of solitude and introspection, reading and contemplation. As demonstrated in this year’s 82 building projects, completed between July 1, 2016, and June 30, 2017, academic and public institutions are now regarded as places of community, of gathering, and of collaboration, even as reading remains in play. They are new facilities finding a place within an established setting and saviors of materials and legacies while offering constituents the state-of-the-art. They comprise the core of campus life and the hub of neighborhoods nationwide. Libraries today are like coming home.


Preserving the past was part of the University of Oklahoma (OU), Norman, plan when it purchased an existing building that previously housed a company call center to be used as a Library Service Center. One line of sight in the renovation of Harvard University’s Science Center and its Cabot Science Library connects the plaza with its fountain and skateboarding venue. The Irwin Library, Butler University, Indianapolis, incorporates furniture for any activity, such as individual study pods with acoustical panels, collaborative booths, mobile whiteboards, café tables and chairs, comfortable lounge chairs with pull-up tablet tables, and mobile tables and task chairs with locking casters.


As to growing the local vibe, the Michelle Obama Neighborhood Library, Long Beach, CA, features a spire replica from its former Atlantic Theater site and a community-maintained Learning Garden. TheBel Air Library of ­Harford County, MD, installed a replica Ma & Pa Railroad and a baby garden with seats for nursing mothers and an area for babies and caregivers to explore. The Northside Branch, Columbus Metropolitan Library, OH, features a Reading Loft, with fixtures that automatically adjust to natural light.

While St. Louis County Library’s (SLCL) Cliff Cave branch houses a computer lab, a quiet reading room, a business center, a community meeting room, and a vending area, patrons can also enjoy the new Cliff Cave Community Garden. SLCL’s Samuel Sachs branch uses an oversized canopy to lead into the enhanced children’s area, which features browsing bins from which children can select their own books.

The San Ramon Library, CA, showcases 5,000 square feet of new entrance plazas with decorative paving, freestanding entry portals, expanded safe pedestrian and bicycle access, and improved lighting, affording greater connectivity with the new City Hall complex and surrounding MarketPlace commercial/retail spaces. A priority for the Webber Park branch of the Hennepin County Library, Minneapolis, was to connect the library to Victory Memorial Parkway, which honors local troops who served in World War I.


Incentivizing alternative transportation choices such as cycling with the availability of illuminated bike racks and bicycle lockers was key to the project at the South ­Whittier ­Library, Los Angeles County Public Library. Douglas County Libraries in Parker, CO, leverages views over the Town of Parker’s Discovery Park, where patrons can gather, stay, and play. What could be more homey than a front porch offering rocking Adirondack chairs? At the Kingsport Public Library, TN, the nature-themed interior design was inspired by the 3,500-acre city-owned nature park. A benefit of the remodel was the creation of a room to accommodate children reading aloud to 18 local therapy dogs.

Situated at the edge of Langdon Park, the ­Woodridge Neighborhood Library, District of Columbia Public Library (on our cover), offers an outdoor space for programming, while the rooftop terrace provides seating with green views. The building is Leadership in Energy & Environmental ­Design (LEED) Gold certified; a portion of the roof is sown with drought-­resistant plants. The new ­Hogansville Public Library, GA, draws design inspiration from surrounding ­historic homes and barns.


Florida’s Lauderhill Central Park Library adjoins the city-run Lauderhill Performing Arts Center. It has a multi­purpose room with kitchenette and seating for 60, plus 20 computers for public use and six additional computers just for children. The Caestecker Public Library, WI, added a stove for a teen cooking club, as it is no longer taught at the local high school. The new space will host movies, magic shows, concerts, live animal programs, and cooking demos.

The public restroom block of the ­Allerton Public Library, Monticello, IL, is designed as a reinforced severe weather shelter. The building has a flexible social gathering area with self-serve coffee and an iconic entry tower structure. The Kasson Public Library, MN, was replaced by a building encased in a dome, with stem walls that join with the foundation. The space would also serve as a community shelter in emergencies.


The Maker space in the new Sterling Library, Loudoun County, VA, features a professional-grade recording booth with electronic instruments as well as sewing and embroidery machines. Did you notice the grey and red wall in the Coolidge Public Library, AZ? It is constructed of self-healing cork, making it a perfect place to display artwork or promotional material.

The Creation Station Business, Broward County Main Library, Fort Lauderdale, FL, is the county’s small business incubator. Its Networking Socials offer opportunities to chat with other entrepreneurs and meet industry professionals. Events held in the Discovery Center of the Princeton Public Library, NJ, include demonstrations by local Maker groups. The Emerson Technology Center of St. Louis County Library’s Natural Bridge branch hosts a family computer lab open two additional hours after close Monday through Friday.

The remodeled Boston Public Library Central Library includes a state-of-the-art lecture hall, business library and innovation center, new children’s library and Teen Central, WGBH satellite news bureau and studio, café, and hi-tech community learning center. Renovating and expanding the 1930s Art Deco Haish Memorial Library building was at the heart of the DeKalb Public Library, IL, makeover, with careful attention to the scale and materials of the original building. The library as “third place” speaks to the design of the Grande Bibliothèque, Montreal. Upon entering, patrons see prechosen books and films, as well as an interactive showcase displaying digital resources.

Neighborhoods thrive on libraries and citizens working together to create great spaces. Community stability depends on a solid foundation, and as with most homes, it’s where the heart is.

Academic Library Data

Public Library Data

Six-Year Cost Summary


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