When: 24 – 30 August 2018 Where: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
The theme for the IFLA Library Buildings and Equipment Section‘s Open Session at WLIC 2018 is Designing Inclusive Libraries. Globalisation celebrates innovation, entrepreneurship and growth. In a culturally diverse society, economic division and social inequity are apparent. Value systems seem to support individuality rather than social inclusion. Library design has frequently focused on creating facilities and services that suit most people rather than all people. We think everyone is the same and that we know what they want. But do we? We are all “other” in some way—sometimes our “otherness” is visible and sometimes it is not. Variations in ability, culture, perspective, age, capability or background have been accommodated in library service delivery and in the built environment largely as add-on features, rather than assuming that everyone is different. Library design based on universal application changes the dialogue, the process, and the outcome. How could library planning and design better accommodate user differences in all types of libraries (public, academic, national and special)? The full call for papers is available here.
There is a widely held perception that British public libraries are in decline and that the proliferation of online services and continuing financial pressures are proving too much. Similarly, people think that new library buildings are rarer than giant pandas. Neither is in fact the case.
Media coverage over recent years has focused on closures and falling loan figures. Positives like the growth of virtual libraries and the diversification of physical services into new and exciting areas, such as computer coding, Lego clubs and high-tech Makerspaces seem to be less newsworthy. Big building projects in major conurbations tend to get plenty of media coverage but local library developments fail to attract the same attention.
It is frustrating to read and hear that public libraries have perhaps ‘had their day’ when the sector is vibrant. UK libraries receive 250.8 million visits a year, more than all cinemas, night clubs and professional sporting events. Continue reading →
The inaugural Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA) Design Awards were presented in June 2017 at a one-day seminar celebrating Australian library design held at The Library at the Dock in Melbourne. The awards showcased the excellence of contemporary Australian libraries and paved the way for future reimagining of libraries. This posting describes the awards process, portrays some striking features of the buildings, demonstrates superb teamwork of librarians, architects, designers, planners and funding agencies in building new libraries and refurbishing old ones, and hopefully inspires and informs others.
The awards. Handmade frosted vases by Brian Carr of Canberra Glassworks
Universal Design (UD) refers to design which seeks to make buildings and environments available for use by everyone in society regardless of age, size, ability, disability or need. Accessibility is not an additional component but integral to UD thinking. UD takes a holistic approach, enhancing access for all without lowering standards. Many libraries and educational institutions use a more specific concept, Universal Design for Learning (UDL).
Seven Principles of Universal Design
Anne-Marie Womack notes on her blog Writing Rhetorics that there are seven principles of UD: Equitable, Flexibility, Simple and Intuitive, Perception Information, Tolerance for error, Low physical effort, and Size and space.