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4 entries from March 2011

Whistler Public Library - first LEED® Gold certified library in Canada

Whistler BC

This is one beautiful library! Whistler Public Library

Respect for the surrounding landscape, the natural environment and the needs of the community (it has showers for bicycle and cross country ski commuters) has produced a stunning and ecologically efficient library design. 

Although I have not experienced the library myself, it looks like one that I would want to be in and appreciate - right up to it's grassed roof.

 

Check out this site and the photos.  WhistlerPL_7 Hughes Condon Marler Architects

You'll want to ski and hike and read all at once.

 

 

photos: Hughes Condon Marler Architects.

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How we get from here to there...signs are not the answer

Can you read a map? Can you find your way back out of a building that you are visiting for the first time?  

Wayfinding is not a skill all of us possess to the same degree.  For instance, I 'see' a building in 3-D; I know that restrooms are usually placed in a building's core - find the elevator - find the restroom. It's a snap.  For me.

Not everyone has this training or 'view'.  We all navigate through the streets and corridors of our days in whatever manner that serves us well and gets us to that important meeting, the elevator, the restroom - the exit!

I am a strong advocate for a clear architectural design that allows the occupants to navigate through a building easily and safely.  I believe that good design is simple and logical design. 

It seems cognitive scientist, Laura Carlson at the University of Notre Dame can back up my 'instinctual' practice with cold hard fact. Laura Carlson, Notre Dame I love it when that happens! She is "figuring out how we can stay un-lost" ...(when we figure out how to get where we want to go.)

WIRED magazine WIRED.com has a short piece about her work (April 2011, pg.38) written by Katherine Gammon.  Check it out.  Ms. Carlson points to various strategies we can use to  find our way through our built environment. We form pictures in our minds of the building and our route or we use a mental bird's eye view.  We navigate by paying attention to objects so we can use them to retrace our steps.  We 'fix' images of objects or intersections in our minds so that we can construct our mind's eye map.

This quote from her work best sums up my approach to design.  I thank her for it.  "If you see handwritten signs pointing you to an exit, that's a good indicator that it's not a well designed building."

When you are designing your library renovation or addition, keep this in mind.  Ask your designer how easily your patrons can find what they are looking for in your library. Man before maze

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Book Club @ People to People International - hear what the world has to say.

   
We participated in a delegation of librarians to China in 2007.  The People to People InteVcm_s_kf_m160_160x120rnational (PTPI) organization PTPI has been close to our hearts ever since.  The tour, our guides and our fellow travelers were fantastic in all respects.  The organization just continues to amaze with timely and innovative ideas that bring people together from across the globe.

PTPI  has initiated a way for members to "communicate with members about international topics and gain unique insights into the cultures explored through readings of PTPI's Global Book Club."  I think this is exciting and a very pleasurable way to combine our love of books with budgets that, for now at least, limit our world travel opportunities!  You don't have to be a member of PTPIto sign up.  Registration for the Global Book Club is free.

Global Book Club
…from the shelves of Mary Jean Eisenhower’s (pictured here) library,
An initiative of People to People International
 

PTPI’ s Global Book Club is a way to connect with your  glob al community. Global Book Club me mbers will communicate about valuable, international topics and gain unique insight and understanding of the various cultural view s in relation to those topics. The PTPI Blog will feature discussion questions and commentary from PTPI staff and fellow readers.

Current Selection: Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand - Join the conversation now!

New titles are announced in January, April, July and October.

Here is what mambers are reading now.

Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption
by Laura Hillenbrand
December 2010

Nearly 10 years ago, Laura Hillenbrand's Seabuscuit: An American Legend captured the nation's attention and went on to become a highly acclaimed motion picture. We are very please to bring you Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand, a friend of PTPI and co-founder of PTPI's Operation International Children (OIC).

Unbroken tells the unforgettable true story of Louis Zamperini, an Olympic athlete whose training was interuppted by World War II, taking Zamperini to the skies as a pilot for the U.S. Army Air Forces.

Discuss this book on the PTPI Blog!

 

 

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Cross Pollination~Demographics for Chairs and Libraries

Communities benefit when someone can help explain to us how different gerations can work together.  Understanding the make up and demands of a multigenerational community makes libraries stronger, valued members of our communities.

Who knew?  I found this piece on TreeHugger. I am a keen furniture design enthusiast; always on the loolout for furniture for new spaces in libraries.What Is The Future Of The Office? Can Boomers and Millenials Mix?

Tellecomuter What's the connection between a presentation by Ginny Baxter,who works in Herman Miller's Applied Knowledge team, and your interests as a librarian?  Seats on chairs and users at libraries - that's what.  Merging Generations in the Workplace

Certainly, this article was inspired by chair design however, demographics research by Herman Miller can help us better serve our communities even if only to rerinforce that what we inuititively 'know' is based in fact. 

This is the link to Ms. Baxter's presentation.

Ginny Baxter of Herman Miller on Demographics from Lloyd Alter on Vimeo.

Illustration: Ginny Baxter, Herman Miller.

 

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