Over the past decade, newly built and renovated public library branches have showcased great Canadian architects and their spectacular, innovative work. This blog draws attention to the stunning achievements in public library branches in Canada and highlights libraries in the following communities:
Brampton (Gore Meadows Community Centre and Library)
Calgary (Nose Hill branch)
Edmonton (Jasper Place branch)
Mississauga (Meadowvale Community Centre and Library)
Ottawa (Beaverbrook branch)
Toronto (Scarborough Civic Centre branch)
Vaughan (Civic Centre Resource Library) and,
Waterloo (John M. Harper branch).
The libraries feature striking design, excellent use of natural light, technological and physical adaptability, accessibility and flexibility, environmental sustainability and sensitivity to surroundings, both natural and cultural. The results have created remarkable points of pride in the eight communities. Technology is leveraged at every turn and includes self-check systems, maker-spaces, creative studios, wireless access, hot spot loans and more. Four branch libraries are inclusions in larger community facilities. Yet print has not been forgotten, and there are lots of books. Continue reading →
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