The primary goal of effective library design and space planning is that the facility must respond to the needs of its service population. Once the needs of its service population are determined, the library building must include flexibility in the design of its interior and exterior spaces and elements in order for the library to effectively address the immediate and future needs of its design population.
Denver Public Library-Denver, CO
(Michael Graves Architects)
Since the late 1970s, advanced technologies and alternative methods of how libraries deliver services, i.e., distance learning, electronic media, continue to develop rapidly. Before the late 1970s, housing print media was the main function of a library. Today, Internet access, electronic media, computer technology, and other forms of modern-day advancements have had a profound effect on the function and design of libraries. As a result, library design must take into account all of the issues that may affect its use in the future. Incorporating flexibility and adaptability in the design, planning, and construction of libraries is essential in order for the library to serve the immediate and future needs of its community.
Information on several types of libraries is available on the WBDG:
- Public Libraries
- Academic Libraries (including college and university libraries)
- School Libraries (including public and private schools)
Relevant Codes and Standards
Department of Defense
- American Libraries Online-The American Library Association's monthly online magazine
- American Library Association (ALA)
- Library Buildings Consultant List by Library Leadership and Management Association (LLAMA). Chicago: American Library Association.
- Wired for the Future: Developing Your Library Technology Plan by Diane Mayo and Sandra Nelson. Chicago, IL: American Library Association, 1999.
- Building Research Information Knowledgebase (BRIK)-an interactive portal offering online access to peer-reviewed research projects and case studies in all facets of building, from predesign, design, and construction through occupancy and reuse.