Posts categorized "Planning the Library" Feed

Libraries, coping with Climate change? @TimesMagazine ‏@goRCLS #in

We are researching the topic of how librarians can plan for the future in their libraries. In architectural school, the "Environment' and "Environmental Design" were at the root of all my design considerations. Most of us in class thought, "We've got this. We can be agents of change for good. Our values and caring for our planet through intelligent design are going to help everyone."  The "Almost" in the title of the following intensive and exhausting-to-read (for me at least!) article sums up the results of our youthful, optimistic dreams.

30YRS AGO_20180806_084352This is this a photo of weekend's New York Times Magazine cover, stark white letters on unrelieved black, small enough to make you really look and read. The exclusive Two-Part issue of August 1, 2018 - Losing Earth: The Decade We Almost Stopped Climate Change - is so overarching a topic that it must be considered by all community leaders as they try to plan for services that are foremost on their users' minds and strive to meet just their basic human needs.

The publication clearly and in plain words puts before our eyes for all to see, the feet-of-clay history of what we have done since we were all warned that climate change was real and how it could affect our lives.

Our global climate affects our jobs, our health, immigration intensity, food and water supplies, demand for science-literate citizens, our power supplies and the willingness by our community's institutions to embrace adaptability. We have no exact idea how this issue will devolve but one thing is certain; it will and we must consider our environment in every decision we make when planning our libraries.

LOSING EARTH_20180806_084456

The chapter titles of Part One are riveting. As you begin to read Part Two, you'll get the drift of where this is headed.

1. 'This Is the Whole Banana', Spring 1979

2. 'The Whimsies of the Invisible World', Spring 1979

3. 'Between catastrophe and Chaos', July 1979

4. 'A Very Aggressive Defensive Program', Summer 1979-summer 1980

5. 'We Are Flying Blind', October 1980

6. 'Otherwise, They'll Gurgle', November 1980-September 1981

7. 'We're All Going to Be the Victims', March 1982

8. 'The Direction of an Impending catastrophe', 1982

Here is the link to the full on-line publication (with awe inspiring photos).

Losing Earth: The Decade We Almost Stopped Climate Change By Nathaniel Rich Photographs and Videos by George Steinmetz

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Shout out to all of you at #alaac18 who attended our Presentation. #in #fbp22 @goRCLS

Thank you everyone for coming to our presentation.

Here's a little GIFt for you - a few visual memories from NOLA (click on it)2018-06-30_ALAAC18_anigif

If you have questions after you receive our NOTES, we will happily assist. Posting them within a week the ALA Conference Sessions Postings site.


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See you @alaannual June 23! Help your architect understand your library's needs. #ALAAC18 #fbp22 #in

NLLD18_Title_PrsntnWorking full out finishing up our Program for the American Library Association Annual Convention (ALAAC18) in New Orleans - Saturday, 23 June.


Interested? Register Now | ALA Annual 2018

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Librarians be inspired. Architect Carina Guedes, teaches women that they can design their own houses @WACommunity #in #fb @solslib @GOrcls

Librarians planning your new library or addition, take note.

You can do anything you want to do.

Brasil Women House2

A story to inspire you.

Camila Silva reports in about an exciting program "created by the architect Carina Guedes. Named Arquitetura na Periferia , the program teaches women (that they) can design their houses by themselves."

The idea was born from Carina's master's thesis in collaboration with her advisor and the research group MOM (Morar de Outras Maneiras).

This account is taken from this link at

(a team working in) A social project in the city of Belo Horizonte, Brazil, has taught low-income women how to renovate or extend their homes without the assistance of a professional. Brasil Women MakeHouse1

In a country where the most economically vulnerable population sees self-construction as the only alternative, the results of this initiative do more than increasing (sic) the housing quality: the project changes how these women envision life by itself.

Through a process where the groups of women are (introduced and taught) the practices/techniques of project design and planning, (with) technical assistance for the improvement of housing, (the women) ... (are) able to conduct the construction (of their homes) with autonomy and without waste."

According to an interview given to Catraca Livre, the participant Ana Paula affirms that her vision of the world has changed. "Today I look at things and people in a different way. For example, I look at people knowing that any of us can do anything we want". (my emphasis) 




  Brasil Women House3

Here are further links to this encouraging story:

Projeto em BH ensina mulheres periféricas a reformar suas casas

Abrace o Brasil - Abrace o Brasil


Arquitetura na Periferia - Home | Facebook




We help you achieve the library you need. Architectural programming / Presentations and Workshops / Strategic Planning help / Guidance and Coaching / Architectural Consultants

Excited to present our Sesssion and Workshop @ONLibraryAssoc #OLASC in Toronto this Friday 3 February

OLASupCon17 LogoLink to Session/Workshop Information

We are look forward to meeting librarians and trustees at the @ONLibraryAssoc Ontario Library Association Super Conference #OLASC in Toronto this Friday, 3 February.

SCRNgRB_olasc17Slide9Our Session and Workshop  - "Communicate Effectively with Design Professionals" - will introduce and develop the concept of the the Library Building Program Document as a comprehensive method for organizing your library’s requirements and communicating them to library users, board, city or municipal councils and the architect.

We believe that the librarian is the person who should lead the Library Building Project and we do everything we can to support you with tools to help you systematically navigate your Library Building Project. There is no need to reinvent the wheel or feel unsupported.

We help librarians lead the pre-planning phase of the library building project and offer and explain the use of methods and strategies to use throughout the design development phase that help you retain control of your design into the acceptance of construction drawings.

So that you are familiar with the visual language that designers use, we will introduce you to adjacency charts; bubble diagrams; construction drawing schedules and Room Data Sheets . We will workshop three of these with exercises so that all our attendees can get hands on experience of the work involved and gain some experience for when you begin the design conversation with your architect.


We help you achieve the library you need. Architectural programming / Presentations and Workshops / Strategic Planning help / Guidance and Coaching / Architectural Consultants

Broad strokes insight into Library Space Planning - tip of the 'Planningberg'

Web junctn trnfnlibspcs Capture
ScrnGrb: OCLC Webjunction 2014

This 2014 "46-page OCLC Webjunction guide, Transforming Library Spaces for Community Engagement, includes sections to help libraries and library staff to:

Create a Community Vision: Recognize the role of community input in a space planning process, and access strategies for obtaining this input to guide your efforts and related communications with internal and external stakeholders.

Design Your Space: Gain familiarity with the intersecting technical and creative considerations for launching a space transformation, and how to implement those considerations at your library.

Sustain Your Space: Consider how community engagement in a space transformation can happen at every stage of the process, whether in the planning, in the design or in the implementation of services or programs in the space.

Space Planning in Action: Learn more about the space planning process from the unique perspectives of two libraries that have implemented transformations with their communities."

Transforming Library Spaces for Community Engagement

This is a very 'broad strokes' approach to planning your library or even a library space.

Talking about "Project Management Competencies" does not a Project Manager make not does it give you the real life perspective on what data to use, how data can work for you and what data to share with your designer. It can serve as a 'memory point' for reference and lead you to links.

Planning for your library building project and being recognised as the leader of the library project is a huge undertaking that involves more behind the scenes work than any 'guide' can prepare you for.

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Can't afford books for your new library? You could have budgeted for them during your planning!

A new library building is not an end in itself.

The true purpose of your library is to provide programs and services that will meet identified community needs.

All libraries have Four Resources in common:





Screenshot-building birmingham www bbc com 2015-08-12 11-27-07
screen shot - BBC

This photo  accompanies an article from the BBC about the Birmingham Libraries reporting that they are not able to afford to buy new books for their new library.

A library is the sum total of its programs and services. Planning for the future of your library is about identifying your community's needs and assuring that resources are in place to fulfill those needs.

These Four Resources are marshaled throughout the planning process to ensure that you can deliver these services efficiently and cost effectively.

The Resources are not an end in themselves. If the cost of one or more of these resources prohibits your library from acquiring any of the other resources, it is an indication of short sighted or ill conceived planning.

If you don't plan well for instance ... you won't be able to buy new books.

Screenshot-www bbc com 2015-08-12 11-01-00

Shortsighted ineffective planning can lead to temporary or permanent disaster.



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Create a new perception of our profession.

Got your attention?

This summary article ( written by Lluis Anglada, Director of the Department of Libraries, Information and Documentation of the Consortium of University Services of Catalonia (CSUC), of his paper, Are Libraries Sustainable In World Of Free, Networked, Digital Information? gives us the straight goods about the future of libraries and a formula (yes, a mathematical formula!) to help us find our way into our future as viable libraries.

Screenshot AmstrdmPLAre Libraries Sustainable In World Of Free, Networked, Digital Information? and available open access here  talks "...about the sustainability of libraries in a world where information is increasingly digital, networked, and free, based on a speech he gave at the 22nd Bobcatsss conference in Barcelona, January 21-24 2014."

He proposes that "the same stages and library events have taken place in all countries and in all library types, but not at the same time. Therefore, the different phases that libraries passed through to become automated are similar in each country, but they occurred in different years (Anglada , 2006)." And "a division of the recent history of libraries  (can be organised) into three major phases over the past 50 years."

Mechanization, a period characterized by the construction of new buildings and mechanization of processes; Automation, in which networks of libraries were created, OPAC was introduced and union catalogues were created; and Digitization, in which electronic journals and books appeared and documents stored in libraries have been digitized (Buckland, 1992)

Here is a portion of his discourse on the third phase:

"During the Digitization phase, however, despite librarians’ ability to adapt (both in terms of their Perceptions of librariesown roles and how the library space is used), the speed of change has been so great that dysfunctions (defined as the difference between expectations and realities) have continued to increase. For example, duplication in catalogs as a result of one book being catalogued more than once; the ‘Googlization’ of information, while library catalogues – once so innovative – have failed to keep up with; and the failure of libraries to sufficiently adapt their services to meet users’ changing expectations. As a result, applying the formula to the Digitized library shows a clear downward trend in terms of its sustainability."

It continues:

"Basically, libraries are suffering from the fact that the public perception of them remains attached to the printed book, which – with the advent of the Internet and digitization of information – is no longer valued as much as it was. Among other things, this has led to the steady decline in library budgets – both in real terms and as a proportion of the overall university budget. Some classic library services are also experiencing significant declines – loan transactions, reference inquiries, and displacement of the starting point for literature searches from the library catalogue to and A&I service or the internet, for example."

and concludes:

"We need to establish a new stereotype of ‘library’ in people’s minds, one that is not based on physical elements – buildings and books – but on the role of providing support and assistance in the difficult process of using information and transforming it into knowledge.

The creation of this new perception must be performed by the current generation of young librarians – “those who are inheriting renovated libraries but also a mental image that is associated with becoming less powerful for society. This is the challenge and responsibility for young librarians: to create a new perception of our profession.”


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When 'new' is not 'new'.

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.

copyright PLAN22

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.


book cover

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

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