On the road to a new library

In the Hyperlinked Public Library there were a lot of mentions of the the Pew Poll that found that there are 9 different attitudes towards libraries in America (see image), and the majority of people like libraries (Rainie, 2014; Zickuhr, 2014; and Zickhuhr, 2014). One of my take-aways from the readings was that it isn’t just old people that like libraries, but people from all walks of life including tech savvy types, those without internet in their own homes, students, families and more. And they all come to the library for different reasons.

This presents a challenge when building a new library because we need to be able to meet the needs of our patrons. Zickhur (2014) states that libraries are becoming houses of access, allowing patrons access to the internet, printing services, and a wide variety of other services that they don’t have at home. One thing we have talked about in relation to this is getting laptop “vending machines” to open up all the space taken up by desktop computers. This would allow for more flexibility in how our spaces can be used as well as allow for more computers since a single laptop vending machine can hold 12 laptops and take up the same amount of space as a single desktop workstation.

Our city and my manager are stressing points that are coming up in the readings, that the library is a community. The design phase for the new library is going to take nearly 18 months because they want an iterative process where the community provides input, the architects create a design and explain their choices, the community provides feedback, the architects incorporate the feedback and again explain their choices, and then the community has one last chance to give feedback before the architects solidify the design of the new library. It is a lot of work, but as my manager says, “It is worth taking a few extra months to get it right since we will be living with this building for 50+ years.”

3 thoughts on “On the road to a new library”

  1. I appreciate your sharing of the design and thought processes in the creation of your new library. How wonderful that the director and those overseeing the project know that the library is not only important to your community, but is also a community in itself. I’m sure it will be an incredible space once it’s finished.

  2. As someone who works in a library over 30 years old, I appreciated your final quote from your director. Not only will the library be there 50 years from now, but it may have a few renovations take place inside it as well! Whatever your community builds using this iterative and feedback driven process is sure to benefit the community for years to come, and most certainly will be a process you can draw upon again when those talks of renovation start happening again!~C

  3. I just toured the new Dayton OH PL and they had those laptop vending machines. Not only is it a space saving feature but it allows patrons to settle wherever they want to be in the space – not just i designated computing areas. Glad to read about the design/feedback process. The community should feel ownership – and that makes for a great library.

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