Modern libraries are asked to be many things to many people many times each day. While space needs for collections have remained static or decreased, the need for areas of varying sizes for events, programs, meetings, collaboration and creating content has exploded.
Spaces of different sizes are required to accommodate:
Large community meetings and events programmed for up to 300 people and held a few times each year
Weekly programs for 30 – 50 children or adults and special events for 100 or more
Alternative uses of spaces intended for events and programs when none is being held
Diverse user behaviour and the need for collaborative and quiet spaces
Speedy transformations to suit a variety of purposes
Flexible Spaces can be Greener and Less Expensive
In addition to providing for a variety of uses, flexible spaces have other advantages. They support aims of greater sustainability and are usually less costly and faster to build and maintain than spaces with solid walls. For example, a design for a meeting space that includes three separate rooms for meetings of 50, 100, or up to 300 participants would require approximately 5,000 square feet (465 square metres). A project like this would typically cost about US$250 per square foot (approx.US$2325 per square metre), or US $1,250,000 for the total project.
In contrast, one large divisible room for 300 would take 3,200 square feet (297.3 square metres) of space. Assuming the use of the highest performance and cost of movable walls to allow the room to be easily divided three ways into alternative configurations, the cost would be US$1,000,000. Reducing the size has a very positive impact by lowering the footprint required for the building and its overall cost. At the same time, the environmental impact would be less with a more efficient use of the site, lower demand for building materials and reduced energy consumption. Movable walls can be introduced into existing or new spaces.
The building under consideration for conversion to alternative use was originally a heat and power plant built in the early twentieth century. It was partially dismantled during the 1960s and extended so that the local university, Leibniz Universität Hannover (LUH), could use it for teaching technical and engineering subjects.
The building has now become available for re-use. Is it possible to convert the building into a library space? Can a building originally constructed as a heat and power plant be re-purposed as a library? A glimpse of the initial planning and thinking is provided.
Does it Fit?
The Technische Informationsbibliothek (TIB) is the German National Library of Science and Technology and as such takes responsibility for collecting materials for all areas of engineering, as well as architecture, chemistry, information technology, mathematics and physics; it is also the University Library for Leibniz Universität Hannover (LUH). As a national specialized library, it plays a significant role in the national information and research infrastructure of Germany.
Being a member of the IFLA Library Buildings and Equipment Section’s Standing Committee is very rewarding. One cannot stop being amazed by the wide diversity of the group with members from so many different countries – Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Great Britain, Ireland, Norway, Spain, Uganda, U.S.A. and Sweden. The group dynamics generated by the mix is hard to beat.
The opportunity to meet colleagues from all over the world has been very inspiring for me in my work as a library director in Sweden. As Isaac Newton once said, “If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants”.
What follows is an attempt to summarize some memories and reflections from my five years as a member of the IFLA Library Buildings and Equipment Section Standing Committee. At the same time, I would like to say thank you to each member of the Standing Committee for being a “giant” for me.
Branding, Bridging, Building – Telling and Selling the Space Story. Call for papers extended to February 15
The call for papers for our section’s joint open session at WLIC 2017 has been extended to February 15 2017. At WLIC 2016 our open session was the best attended and one of the highest rated. This year the Library Building and Equipment Section is collaborating with the Marketing Section to run a joint open session at WLIC 2017. We are looking for exciting and engaging papers on the topic of Branding, Bridging, Building – Telling and Selling the Space Story. The full call for papers is here.