The following quote made news this week. I am amazed:
“It's time for a paradigm shift to one in which public leaders engage with their communities and take action based on the voices of their constituents. (And where communities demand that kind of interaction.) So go, get out there, engage your elected and appointed leaders, and use your voice to impact positive change.”
This quote is taken from “100 Great Ideas for the Future of Libraries -- A New Paradigm for Civic Engagement”, written by Rebecca Fishman Lipsey and “Co-authored by Francine Madera, MADERA inc." as reported in the Huffington Post on-line. Posted: 01/29/2015 3:53 pm EST Updated: 01/29/2015 3:59 pm EST” 100 Great Ideas for the Future of Libraries -- A New Paradigm for Civic Engagement | Rebecca Fishman Lipsey
The ideas quoted are indeed ‘great’. I am so pleased you have discovered them, but they are not new. No, Ms. Fishman Lipsey and Ms. Madera, what you write about is not a “New Paradigm”, though I do admit each generation comes to the hard, cold truth in their own time. Congratulations! I hope the librarians who read your article do the research they do so well and discover the know-how, in existence for over 30 years, which leads them through this process that, among many other concepts, includes "Civic Engagement".
Many times have I heard this refrain and for years I have read articles urging librarians to use this or that 'innovative idea' to keep libraries fresh and in touch with their communities. I am dispirited that intelligent people do not use common sense! Then I battle incredulity over the fact that such a well-educated and seemingly intelligent group of people can remain so ostrich-like in the face of tried-and-true, long used techniques to achieve success as librarians in their communities.
Why make your job difficult? Why reinvent the wheel? Why not use the body of knowledge passed on to you by your colleagues over generations to help you do your work? Perhaps it’s easier to read about ‘new ideas’ than to do the work of recognizing and adopting the planning process that has led to the success of librarians who have delivered truly brilliant and responsive libraries to their communities.
For years, we and our esteemed colleagues have been guiding public librarians in the process of community building and outreach; preparing them to determine their needs and enabling them to talk effectively to their communities, boards and architects. This process includes Strategic Planning and architectural pre-programming. I will not apologize for saying this even though each generation must come to learn the terminology the hard way. Sometimes a strategic plan is quite simply a strategic plan. If community based Strategic Planning is not done, you will not achieve the type of library specific to your community's needs. Changing the terminology will not make it any easier to do.
All the issues Ms. Rebecca Fishman Lipsey and Ms. Madera bring up in their article are valid. However all these issues have been around since architects and librarians jointly conceived and built libraries in this modern age. Librarians, please read the vast amount of literature available that guides you, minute by in-depth step, toward a successful library building project. As librarians you have the skills to locate, read, grasp and avail yourself of this information. You have the intelligence and the knowledge to lead your library building project with the full support of your community, lawmakers and users. It is hard, constant, diligent, detailed, attention-demanding work. It is worth it.
The American Library Association (ALA) is open and clear in their support for you and your community to achieve the library that your community needs. The Library Bill of Rights Library Bill of Rights | Advocacy, Legislation & Issues supports all the work needed to achieve not only your library facility but also a satisfied constituency. Architects, Urban Planners, Interior Architects, Landscape Architects and other professional organizations that include the Project Management Institute PMI - the World’s Leading Professional Association for Project Management are resources available to you at every turn, and throughout your project. Use them. Research how these professionals actually do their jobs, you will find that they have the knowledge to support your work.
Sandra Nelson, of Sandra Nelson Consulting , is the author of Strategic Planning for Results and Implementing for Results: Your Strategic Plan in Action, the current Public Library Association strategic planning how-to book. Strategic Planning for Results - Books / Professional Development - Books for Academic Librarians - Books for Public Librarians - PLA Products - ALA Store
To quote Ms. Nelson:
“The Strategic Planning for Results process has been refined by 30 years of public library planning experiences and reflects today's best practices. The process takes between three and four months and engages stakeholders from the staff, the board, and the community. The final plan describes the library's service priorities and explains how the staff will measure progress toward meeting those priorities. Creating a strategic plan is just a preliminary step in the real work of moving the library forward.(our emphasis) A plan is of little value unless it is implemented and Implementing for Results: Your Strategic Plan in Action is the most practical tool available to guide your implementation efforts.”
While it may be exciting for each generation to discover a way of making library spaces better for their communities, it still remains that this process takes energy, research, determination, dedication and plain, hard work. No single news release is going to make it easy for anyone but perhaps it will inspire you to do the work that needs to be done. Good luck!
For a concise, easy to read outline of why you will meet success through tried and true, good old Strategic Planning try quickly reading this document by Ms. Nelson: tab_3_handouts.pdf
“Copenhagen City Hall is about to embark on an ambitious plan to make the whole city climate-change-resilient. Though there will be individual variations, each neighborhood will feature cloudburst boulevards and beautified squares ready for water-basin duty. One Copenhagen suburb is already building its own climate quarter, and Morten Kabell, Copenhagen’s deputy mayor in charge of environment and technology, reports receiving climate-quarter inquiries from mayors around the world. Following a catastrophic cloudburst in 2011 that resulted in damage of about $1 billion, this windy port city had little choice but to find ways of protecting itself.”
In the St. Kjeld neighbourhood, “city planners looked at the option of adding ‘gray infrastructure’ technologies that, in this case, would have included essentially more and bigger sewers, or of designing “green,” nature-based structures that collect the water and lead it away.’”
Flemming Rafn Thomsen of Tredje Natur, the Danish architecture firm chosen for the project reports that they “looked at St. Kjeld and thought, ‘That’s a lot of asphalt with no function. We can use some of that space for water.’ ”
“The answer, Rafn Thomsen and the city decided, was to tear up the neighborhood’s squares and replace their asphalt covering with what’s essentially a hilly, grassy carpet interspersed with walking paths. Should a storm, flood or rising sea levels hit the Danish capital again, the bucolic miniparks will turn into water basins…”
“Surrounding streets will, for their part, be turned into “cloudburst boulevards.” Under ordinary circumstances, they’ll just be ordinary streets with raised sidewalks, but during floods and megastorms, they’ll become canals, channeling rainwater away from the squares to the harbor. Millions of gallons of water will be dispatched back to the harbor on such above-ground waterways, St. Kjeld becoming a temporary Venice.”
We just signed on to openIDEO ... "a place where people design better, together for social good. It's an online platform for creative thinkers: the veteran designer and the new guy who just signed on, the critic and the MBA, the active participant and the curious lurker."
They have just offered their 'OpenIDEO Impact Book' – in PDF, a collection of stories featuring real-world impact that has emerged from 21 OpenIDEO challenges over the past three years. The book highlights just a few examples of individuals, teams and organisations who have been inspired to realise OpenIDEO ideas and bring positive change to their communities.
Check out this presentation at the AZA Architecture Conference in 2103 by Zimbabwean architect Mick Pearce.
ClassAct: Active School by actLAB NYC partnered with the St. Vincent Institute in the town of Maribojoc, Bohol, Philippines
In the Philippines, actLAB NYC on KICKSTARTER (see our side bar on this site) has partnered with the St. Vincent Institute in the town of Maribojoc, Bohol, which was completely destroyed by back-to back catastrophes: the 7.2 magnitude earthquake that was immediately followed by super typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) on October 15, 2013 in the largely rural region of Visayasand. The area remains largely on it's own to struggle without funding.
This partnership project is an attempt to rebuild space for 150 students of the 1,134 classrooms that were destroyed.
"The structures combine local craftsmanship with modern engineering for maximum resiliency. The goal is to empower locals to maintain and repair the structure with their inherent building knowhow + innovate cottage industries [thus revitalizing the local economic ecosystem] while promoting sustainability."
Want to help? Click HERE too and go to 'Donate' on the far right at the ClassAct Foundation.
" actLAB is a New York-based collaborative design group working at the intersection of architecture, education, illustration and social entrepreneurship. We design for the the social effect we aspire architecture to instigate, and draw from urban complexities and shifts that architecture must respond to. | actLAB is lead by Australian registered architect & Columbia University GSAPP alum + academic, Aya Maceda (www.ayamaceda.com) with collaborators, Buzz Wei (architect/ GSAPP alum: http://buzzwei.4ormat.com) and Sandra Javera (architect/illustrator: www.sandrajavera.com) | 195 Plymouth Street, Dumbo Brooklyn, NY 11201 email@example.com"
Thank you, librarians from the APLL Institute at Southern Ontario Library Service, who participated in our webinar "The Library Program - Roadmap to a successful New Library Building". Or - Architectural Programming, the very short version!
It will all make sense once you begin your new project.
Keep on being your amazing, information-seraching, freedom-loving selves.
It will all work out - promise.
Special thank you to Anne Marie M!
Mark Goulthorpe likes to see the world we occupy as a "physically reciprocal relationship between a person and the environment." Mr. Grulthorpe "teaches and practices new design and construction logics for the next generation of high-performance buildings ... that are not only resilient, economical, and visually stunning, but also offers insights into attaining environmentally benign buildings."
He is centering much of his reasearch on "thermoplastics. As the most benign class of fiber-reinforced polymers, they are rapidly entering broad market applications and hold the possibility to address a growing need. Current MIT estimations have the built environment doubling in the next 20 to 30 years, with the amount of urban housing needed likely to match that built in the previous 6,000 years."
‘Repurposing the Library’ is today’s term for “That Flexibility Thing Libraries Have Always Done’. Librarians are experts about the subject of ‘Movement’ whether it is movement of people or the movement of relationships and adaptations between spaces to account for new ways people need to use existing spaces. It is so vexing to a librarian who is documenting the needs of her or his library to be able to forecast what the space requirements for the library will be in 10 or 20 years. But librarians have always met the challenge.
Flexibility that is built in to your design will help you, as the leader of your library design project, to cope with planning for the future of your library.
When you know your needs based on your plan to supply your community with what they need, you can lead your designer to solutions that you may have not imagined. The article gives you some examples of what flexible storage is available on the market today. With a well prepared architectural program and a clear budget, you and your designer can together make the library for your community's future.
I like the INFO SHEET: THE REPURPOSED LIBRARY found as a freee download on the right column on this Spacesaver Link, because it is clear and short and it's about storage spaces, real concepts that people can easily grasp. It emphasizes what we have been telling librarians, that you need a plan (a Strategic Plan to begin) that takes into account your community's needs and you need to gather data about what you have now to plan for what you need in the future. You need this information to establish a Budget and you and you staff are the most experienced and well placed persons to gather that information.
I am developing a workshop to demonstrate the value of communicating with your library staff during the planning of a new library or l ibrary space.
I seek examples of successes (and as importantly, failures) that show definitively and with examples of how staff involvement in pre-planning and planning aided your project’s success; or because of the absence of communication with staff, the project did not meet expectations.All communication will be held in strictest confidence.
NYLA e-Bulletin is publishing PLAN22's 11 part series "Strategic Planning @ Your Library".
Members see: The e-Bulletin
Don't throw out thse date stamps (if you have any left.)
Look closely, see anything familiar? Click on the image to enlarge.
Participants in the Southern Ontario Library System (SOLS) - Advancing Public Library Leadership (APLL) Institute, joined their colleagues in our webinar to open up the conversation about the skills required to lead a library building project.
The APLL Institute "is designed to expand and advance the leadership capacity of public library CEOs and managers." The "certificate program takes approximately two years to complete, with participating library staff undergoing independent course work in 12 key areas, complemented by highly interactive classroom sessions."
Is there a difference in how much a child understands and retains a story depending on the format of the book they share? You may be surprised by recent findings, or maybe not. [CLICK ON IMAGE TO ENLARGE]
Researchers at the A Cooney Center [ CLICK TO LINK],QuickReport by Cynthia Chiong, Jinny Ree, Lori Takeuchi, and Ingrid Erickson have completed a study to find out using "three book formats: print books, basic e-books, and enhanced e-books." investigating three issues:
1. Parent-Child Conversation
2. Story Comprehension and
FINDINGS: CLICK THIS LINK TO OPEN Report
1. The enhanced e-book was less effective than the print and basic e-book in supporting the benefits of co-reading because it prompted more non-content related interactions. When adults prompt children with questions pertaining to the text, label objects, and encourage them to discuss the book contents in terms of their own experiences and curiosities, this elicits increased verbalization by the child and can lead to improved vocabulary and overall language development.
2. Features of the enhanced e-book may have affected children’s story recall because both parents and children focused their attention on non-content, more than story-related, issues.
3. The print books were more advantageous for literacy building co-reading, (BUT)...the e-books, particularly the enhanced e-book, were more advantageous for engaging children and prompting physical interaction.
The study leads to recommendations:
1. For designers: Exercise caution when adding features to enhanced e-books, especially when those features do not directly relate to the story. E-book enhancements should also be designed in a way that allows parents to access and control settings to customize the co-reading experience with their children.
2. For parents and educators: Parents and preschool teachers should choose print or basic e-books to read with children if they want to prioritize literacy-building experiences over ones intended “just for fun.” Some of the extra features of enhanced e-books may distract adults and children alike from the story, affecting the nature of conversation and the amount of detail children recall. However, given that appeal is an essential building block for early literacy development, enhanced e-books may be valued for their ability to prompt less motivated young readers toward engagement when they might otherwise avoid text altogether.
I agree...and...The 'NOTES' left in response to this article lead to some interesting add-ons to the practice of asking "Why?" five times to get to the root of any problem.
see: To Get To The Root Of A Hard Problem, Just Ask “Why” Five Times. Written by: Eric Ries at Co.DESIGN / fastcodesign.com.
Charting the answers in some kind of diagram linking root causes explored to each question helps me to see where I've been with my querying quest. Others point out that five "whys" may not be enough.
When you are faced with a design problem of any kind at your library, keep drilling down to the source of the problem until you see the underlying reason for your dilemma. Only when you know why you have a problem, will you be able to explore how you may fix it.
image as per article credits.-Tx.
Visual impacts of your sign design can not be underestimated.
CLICK ON IMAGE TO ENLARGE
Signs, their readability , quality and consistency of design will always be a primary interest of mine and I urge you to make it yours as well. People do make up an opinion of you at first glance and they will do the same when they walk into your library.
The premier quality of an effective sign is readability. If a sign cannot be read sufficiently from a distance to allow time to read it, then the message it carries is silenced.
As a general rule the Greatest Impact Readable Distance is 10 feet for every 1 inch of letter height.
It is my belief that I create and learn and produce better things and ideas when I have fun.
The fun is just for itself. The ideas that result can be for others' benefit too.
Here are adults having fun. Wish I was one of the team.
Start with the first machine
and go to the second and most recent...
Heads up folks. You may not have or want an Urban Greenhouse in your library but one day your neighbourhood could partner with a project in your community designed with the help of this Swedish company - Plantagon International.
I've only imagined a company that had a prospectus like this one - take a look at a future oriented business model. (click to enlarge)
Plantagon took the initiative to develop the new offer Urban Agriculture within SymbioCity, and the offer is delivered in cooperation with Plantagon's partners SWECO, SAAB, Combitech and Tekniska Verken. SymbioCity is a network of Swedish companies and organisations, within sustainable urban development, founded by the Swedish Government and Swedish Industry.
Who would do good, sensible design if it weren't named other than a rose?
I would, I do, but I gather the rest of the world needs a catchy handle.
As a person who did her design education in the 70's I find this 'already-done-and-got-the-high-heels-like'. Perhaps some building owners and trustees still haven't heard of any of this so here goes.
International Interest Grows in Green-Building Certification-By,Kate Galbraith. New York Times. Published: March 7, 2012
"Solar Lantern Project" aims to provide rechargeable solar lanterns to rural Indian areas where electricity is still not available - Institute for Global Environmental Strategies.
"TERI (Energy and Resources Institute) campaign uses solar lanterns that have CFLs (compact fluorescent lamps) as well as LEDs (light emitting diodes) for dual purposes. Each solar lantern in its useful life of 10 years replaces the use of about 500-600 litres of kerosene, thereby mitigating about 1.5 tonnes of CO2. Rural entrepreneurs are trained to manage and run a central solar lantern charging/distribution centre where lanterns are rented. This creates financial opportunities for the entrepreneur. hostels for tribal children, funded by the government's universal education programmes, are equipped with solar lanterns to help children study at night."
Need a new roof? Renovating your existing roof?
Here's their vid, showing construction sequence.
The living roof will change throughout the seasons, its grasses, bulbs, and perennial wildflowers attracting local pollinators and visitors alike.
While you're at it why not look around the BBG site? It will warm you up and remind you that Spring will come.
Check out this link to theUnited Nations Environment Programme UNEP environment for development.
5 June is WORLD ENVIRONMENT DAY.
They have teamed up with musicians and artists, treehugger and piictu. Here is a link to the page where you can sign up with piictu on your iPhone or iTouch to submit photos of the environment around you.
ProQuest has just published a Public Library Toolkit.
There are easy to edit .pdf files for your library to use. You will also find sample Tweets!
Here are some examples of posters and book marks designed to get your library users' attention and promote your library...
There's a 50-foot trailer in the parking lot of the Allen County Public Library in Fort Wayne, IN.
Inside you will find what Library director Jeff Krull says is "a resource to the community that individuals would not be able to have access to on their own."
Mr. Krull shows his community what he believes...that a "library as not being in the book business, but being in the learning business and the exploration business and the expand-your-mind business."
We love this! Check out just what is inside this trailer - here's the whole article from NPR, 11 December 2011 audio of interview included.
Our thanks to NPR and Viral Optimism, for their article
One of the coolest pro-library celeb photos I've seen. A Prayer for Owen Meany is my favourite book and Gosling is from Cornwall, ON. Awwwww!
thank you: http://librarianheygirl.tumblr.com/
This Huffington Post article sums it up well - all we have to do now is design physical spaces so that they are flexible. Users needs morph - so must our buildings.
Here's the article: Good Read!
University of Nottingham has built prefabricated straw bale building.
There are many ways to get the best building that meets your needs. Don't limit your ideas at any tme during your design process.
See this little vid about the idea behind it and the way it is built in this film commissioned by Make and The University of Nottingham. from
Here is the text from the Make website:
Construction was completed in May 2011 on a new building for the University of Nottingham which brings together the School of Biosciences and the School of Veterinary and Medical Sciences.
The project is the first stage of a 20-year visionary masterplan which aims to expand the Sutton Bonington Campus and enhance its reputation as a leading destination for the study of plant and animal sciences.The landmark building, with a value of £5.2 million, was designed to accommodate a wide range of different functions – offices, laboratories, seminar and computer rooms – while comfortably providing for many different users, including researchers, students, teachers and administration staff.
To maximise the use of the space, the efficiency of the floorplate reaches an impressive 80 per cent. Consciously contextual, the design was influenced by the campus's agricultural heritage and strong sustainability policy. Taking inspiration from the rhythm of the line of trees adjacent to the site, the facade is innovatively formed from prefabricated modular straw bale panels, locally produced using straw sourced from the University's own farmland.Each 14m long panel consists of a cross-laminated timber frame filled with compressed straw and finished externally with render to provide a breathable coating that prevents decay and protects the straw from the external environment. These panels were prefabricated in an off-site 'flying factory' using local labour and delivered ready to be put in place.
When we talk to librarians about building new, renovating their spaces or moving collections, the first thing we stress is WEEDING THE COLLECTION.
Having just helped restock shelves in a lovely, beautifully designed library I know the pain of placing hundreds of pieces of materials on to new shelves when they haven't yet been weeded!
Take a look at this little article in GOOD by Liz Dwyer to reinforce your commitment to making space for new materials in your library.
Builiding a new library or addition?
This dynamic glass (as in not passive energy technology) tints automatically or on demand to control sunlight, without shades or blinds. SageGlass® - SAGE
It takes less electricity to operate 2,000 square feet of SageGlass than it does to power a single 60-watt light bulb. I think, if you have the will and the resources, this option is well worth a good hard look.
SageGlass’ electrochromic coating consists of five layers of ceramic material. Applying a low voltage of electricity darkens the coating as lithium ions and electrons transfer from one electrochromic layer to another electrochromic layer. How it Works - Technology - SAGE
Reversing the voltage polarity causes the ions and electrons to return to their original layer, causing the glass to return to its clear state
This solid-state reaction is controlled through a very low voltage power supply (less than 5V DC). A darkened state enables SageGlass to absorb and radiate away the sun’s unwanted heat and glare. A clear state allows you to maximize daylight and solar energy.
SAGE Electrochromics that can be switched from clear to tinted with the click of a button. The glass can also be programmed to respond to changing sunlight and heat conditions.
Zoning is also an option, meaning that panes that are hit by direct sunlight can tint, while ones receiving indirect sunlight can stay clear. (ref: mashable.com: 4 High-Tech Projects Making Cities More Energy Efficient )
Here is an photo from the SAGEGLASS BLOG: Architecture Review: West Hollywood Library among top works - Uncategorized - Sustainability - Glass in Architecture - Daylighting benefits - Brilliant Views - SAGE
Car Runs On Air. We won't feel bad driving to the library!
To see the notes, right click or hover on the call out button at the upper left corner of the slide.
A big thank you to our workshop participants and to Bob Kieserman at the Library Management Institute
Yesterday we welcomed seven people our workshop - Roadmap to a Successful New Building. Thank you all for your participation and for sharing your experiences. I will have the slides and our notes posted here within the week.
Arcadia University is a little jewel of a campus with "more than 4,000 students choose from among 75 fields of study." We were impressed with the physical therapy and physician assistant degrees that they offer. They have a fascinating range of programs: Arcadia University
Bob Kiserman and Ms.Timothy of the Library Management Institute LMI, and the guest speakers were welcoming and accomodating; the roster of workshop topics was timely and useful; the presenters were steeped in the knowledge of their subjects that comes with years of life experience and we wish we could have stayed and gone to many of the workshops ourselves!
I can't resist adding this photo: It's a thermostat on the marble wall of the 'Ladies' in the castle building - end of the 19th century technology! Take a closer look at the bottom when you roll over the pop out image.
Our appreciation also to Ann Marie Mazdiack and the Southern Ontario Library System for allowing us to refer to their Library Development Guide #5 - Making the Case for your Library Building Project that we authored for them. SOLS publications
The iPhone app, called ShelvAR, scans a dozen book spines at once and detects errant titles. Viewing the shelf through a tablet PC, the user sees incorrectly filed books highlighted, and on-screen arrows point to their correct place on the shelf. One Per Cent: Augmented reality app keeps libraries tidy.
Is the time and cost of placing labels on all the titles off set by the time wasted searching for mis-shelved books worth it? Automatic sorters do this in large libraries that have automated book drop sorters. Would this be worth it for your smaller library with volunteers or interns reshelving your titles?
Bo Brinkman is an associate professor of computer science and software engineering at Miami University, in Ohio. A specialist in augmented reality and computer ethics, he happens to be married to the university’s art-and-architecture librarian. Hearing his wife talk about trying to motivate student workers to do more shelf-reading got Mr. Brinkman thinking about creative solutions to the problem. The app he came up with, tentatively called Shelvar, relies on special tags—kind of like QR codes—attached to the books’ spines. Each tag “exactly represents the call number” of each book.
See video of Dr. Brinkman's demonstration at this link. Augmented reality - library tasks
Information on this post taken from:
The Chronicle of Higher Education website, "the No. 1 source of news, information, and jobs for college and university faculty members and administrators. Based in Washington, D.C., The Chronicle has more than 70 writers, editors, and international correspondents. Online, The Chronicle is published every weekday and is the top destination for news, advice, and jobs for people in academe. The Chronicle's audited Web-site traffic is routinely more than 14 million pages a month, seen by more than 1.7 million unique visitors."
NewScientist, OnePercent Blog.
How are you going to plan the spaces in your new library when the very concept of a 'library as a physical place' is being redefined by how your community uses technology?
Librarians are talking. In journals, newsletters, on LinkedIn, at conferences about how they can manage the demand placed on them, their staff and library buildings by patrons who expect their library to provide them the capability to use technologies to help them with research and homework, job searches and internet connectivity.
Librarians are engaged in conversations about the future of libraries and the future of librarianship and recruitment of new people into the profession; people who are equiped to deal with ever changing technological advances.
"There’s a cadre of LIS students coming up who would jump at the chance for jobs in digital media labs or the Information Commons. Before that can happen, however, library leadership must move beyond the lending/reference model to a broader view of what’s possible in a community-based space focused on helping people." (LJ, Apr 2011)
In a recent Library Journal article, Stuck in the Past | Office Hours, By Michael Stephens, Apr 15, 2011, about the reasons people want to become librarians, Mr. Stephens asks some hard questions about the roles and 'evolution of ...(the) services' provided by librarians of the future.
In our facilitations and webinars, we have been emphasising the importance of marketing libary services in communities and providing felexible spaces in library buildiing plans. These concepts are also brought out strongly in Mr. Stephens' article.
"We need a course in library school devoted to teaching people to build spaces both physical and virtual (my emphasis) for constituents to come together. We need to prioritize marketing and branding these spaces and services consistently. Doing so will help us in creating, maintaining, and evaluating the Information Commons."
How do you see your library building and your staff meeting these needs, not in five years, not in two but next year at this time?
Planning a new library? Let your imagination soar. Take inspiration from this adventurous and delightful design: the Morris Arboretum Tree Adventure. Morris Arboretum / ArchDaily
"Suspended 50 feet above the forest floor, this network of walkways (450-feet in length) provides a bird’s eye view of the forest, complete with a giant Bird’s Nest, Squirrel Scramble rope, and many vista platforms."
What a dream, to read in a tree house. Even better, to have a whole library up there in the leaves and sky. This brilliant little project is, unfortunately not a library...BUT designs like this one can inspire us all to new heights for our library design.
Morris Arboretum’s Tree Adventure exhibit Out on a Limb, designed by Metcalfe Architecture & Design, was the 2010 AIA Philadelphia Design Excellence Gold Medal Winner, 2010 AIA Pennsylvania Architectural Excellence Award, 2010 “Best of Philly” Award, and the 2010 American Association of Museums Excellence in Exhibition Design Award.
If you don't envision your perfect solution for your library's design challenges, you will not get a library that meets your community's needs.
When the serious design phase begins with your architect, you will make compromises.
Your imagined ideas will come up against hard reality.
credits:Architects: Metcalfe Architecture & Design
Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
Consultant: Forever Young Treehouse, Inc
Structural Engineers: CVM Engineering
Construction Managers: CVM Construction
Civil Engineers: Hunt Engineering Company
Lighting Designers: Grenald Waldron Associates
Exhibit Designers: Sparks Exhibits and Environments
Photographs: Paul Warchol
'Visual time/space' is where my mind lives. As the 'visual' half of this team, I am attracted to aesthetics as much as I am to functional praticalities.
I am delighted by these book covers. Take a look book covers/album sleeves ...to echo the theme of the novel. See more about the man behind the imagination in an interview with Professional Photographer in 2010 Interview.
You may recognise some of your favourite albums in this neat flip video of his collected covers The Record Books : Volume 1 | Book Preview.
Here's the article that first caught my eye Christophe Gowens reported - photo: Mother Jones, same site.
Energy conservation in our libraries can be as simple as installing a timer equipped thermostat on your heating/air conditioning unit.
This article Timer on your Thermostat from Treehugger.com warns us about the difficulty programming and using some programmable thermostats.
Miguel Helft of the New York Times asks, "Is the tantalizing dream of a universal library dead?" (Published: April 3, 2011).
Is it? Maybe not. In March of this year, a New York federal district court judge, Denny Chin (now sitting as a judge in the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit), acknowledged that “the creation of a universal digital library (by Google) would benefit many,” but said that the proposed agreement (by Google) was “not fair, adequate and reasonable.” because, "it would have granted Google a “de facto monopoly” and the right to profit from books without the permission of copyright owners". NYT 22 March 2011
There are those who do want to have a universal digital library - without commercial advertisers. Europe is already far ahead of the United States in an effort to digitize information to be read in a commercial free web site, Europeana, Europeana that already has some 15 million "works of art, books, music and video held by the cultural institutions of member countries".
"Unlike in Europe, where national libraries are usually centralized and backed by governments, the United States has a disparate network of independent institutions that have different missions and serve different populations", and is playing catch up in this field.
"...the settlement (with Google that) was rejected in federal court last month, in part because it turned copyright law on its head, giving Google the right to profit from a book unless its author or publisher objected. This was a particular problem for “orphan books,” out of print titles whose authors and publishers cannot be easily found. Since no one else would be able to obtain a license to those books, Google would have a de facto monopoly on millions of texts.
The digital public library will face the same problem" NYT 3 April 2011
No matter what happens, who does it or how fast this project evolves, the affect on our libraries as we know them will be profound. I suggest that we will be well placed in our communities when we plan properly for and develop spaces for people to read and be together in our libraries. The delivery system for knowledge and information will change but we humans will always seek each other out for company and discourse. Libraries are already here and changing to meet these human needs.
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. Hughes Condon Marler Architects
photos: Hughes Condon Marler Architects.
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."