Cover image for Planning the modern public library building
Planning the modern public library building
McCabe, Gerard B.
Publication Information:
Westport, Conn. : Libraries Unlimited, [2003]

Physical Description:
xiv, 280 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
Z679.5 .P58 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



This collection of 22 highly informative essays offers important insight into current activities in the area of building planning. Written by recognized building experts from the United States and Australia, the essays discuss critical planning issues from a management perspective.

Topics include space design; collection marketing; furniture selection; landscaping; accommodating different age groups; hosting activities and events; seeking support from the community; and more. Technology is given a high priority. A bibliographic essay provides an abundance of suggested titles for further study.

Author Notes

GERARD B. MCCABE is retired Director of Libraries, Clarion University, Pennsylvania.

JAMES R. KENNEDY is University Librarian, Buena Vista University, Storm Lake, Iowa.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Wishing you could build a new library? Frantically looking for more space? Trying to make the best of your current facility with little hope for an actual remodel? This work may be the ticket to help you think through your dreams . . . or, maybe more realistically, help limit your options. The book is divided into eight parts, including early planning, support, and specialized services. There are 20 signed chapters within those broad subjects, such as Before Sizing Your Building, Reinvent It ; Retail Technology Applications ; and Joint-Use Libraries. Although no book has been written that will answer all of the questions surrounding facility projects, Planning is a worthy resource intended to help the reader think. It prods. It presents questions rather than answers. Like talking to a trusted colleague with whom you don't always agree, Planning has a solid, almost grounding, feel to it. At the very least, it will help allay that chaotic, deer-in-the-headlights feeling for people new to library design, building, and renovation. -- RBB Copyright 2003 Booklist

Library Journal Review

If a new library is in your future, this is one of the books you will want to read as you plan. Building experts from the United States and Australia (both librarians and architects) contributed the 22 essays, whose topics include beginning to plan and key issues in planning, space, and building design; furniture selection; landscaping; services and accommodations for different age groups; rallying support for your library; and technology considerations. There is also an annotated bibliography. In the essay on library design, Valerie Meyer maintains that no one is better qualified than librarians to design a new library especially because of their experience and organizational and customer service skills. She outlines the various sections within the library and what to consider as part of the design. Robert W. Fetzer discusses advantages and disadvantages of ordering stock furniture vs. custom-made. He also covers different woods, how they are cut, their appropriate uses, and how this has an effect on furniture construction. Authors James Flott and Merri A. Hartse consider the importance of landscaping in ecological terms, as a matter of safety and security, and managing the plants after the initial installation. From inside to outdoors, all areas are given consideration. The essays all contain a current and helpful bibliography of other readings on the topic, which readers will find invaluable. Use this excellent resource in conjunction with Lee Brawner's Determining Your Public Library's Future Size: A Needs Assessment and Planning Model; William W. Sannwald's Checklist of Library Building Design Considerations, 4th ed.; Nolan Lushington's The Design and Evaluation of Public Library Buildings; and Anders C. Dahlgren's Public Library Space Needs. Recommended for public librarians.-Marie Bruni, Huntington Memorial Lib., Oneonta, NY (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

Jay R. CarowWilliam W. SannwaldAndrea Arthur MichaelsAlexander P. LamisValerie L. MeyerCarol SpeicherJanet C. WoodyJohn StanleyRobert W. FetzerJames J. Flott and Merri A. HartseAlan BundyLesley A. BoonSondra VandermarkRebecca WenningerKenneth D. ClippertonCathan CookJames R. KennedyGerard B. McCabeDonald BergomiElisabeth MartinSandra D. Trezzo
Prefacep. ix
Acknowledgmentp. xi
Introductionp. xiii
Part I. The Planning Beginsp. 1
1. Early Planning for a New Libraryp. 3
2. Before Sizing Your Building, Reinvent It: Think New Services, Collections, and Equipmentp. 17
3. Greening the Library: An Overview of Sustainable Designp. 31
4. An Ounce of Prevention: Library Directors and the Designing of Public Librariesp. 47
Part II. Rallying Supportp. 53
5. Community Involvement in the Library Construction Processp. 55
6. Getting to Yes: The Public Library Building Process in Henrico County, Virginiap. 67
Part III. Key Issues for Planningp. 73
7. Retail Technology Applications and Their Role in the Modern Libraryp. 75
8. A Guide to Selecting Library Furniturep. 89
9. Landscape Design, Establishment, and Maintenancep. 113
Part IV. Joint-Use Librariesp. 127
10. Joint-Use Libraries: The Ultimate Form of Cooperationp. 129
Part V. Services for Children, Young Adults, and Seniorsp. 149
11. Designing Library Space for Children and Adolescentsp. 151
12. Using Teen Patrons as a Resource in Planning Young Adult Library Space in Public Librariesp. 161
13. Creating a Senior-Friendly Libraryp. 171
Part VI. Technologyp. 175
14. Wireless Networking in the Library: Creating Network Connectivity Throughout the Library--A Decision-Making Guide for Plannersp. 177
15. Considerations in Planning and Managing Computer Servicesp. 187
16. The Importance of Lightingp. 199
17. New Concepts for Technology in Library Designp. 205
Part VII. Notable Buildingsp. 215
18. Pustaka Negeri Sarawak: Sarawak State Library and Multimedia Centrep. 217
19. Historic Libraries and Their Enduring Value: Brooklyn Public Library Renews Its Historic Buildingsp. 229
Part VIII. Bibliographic Essayp. 247
20. Annotated Bibliography: Planning, Designing, and Building Public Librariesp. 249
Appendix Prequalification Form for Library Furniture Manufacturersp. 257
About the Editors and Contributorsp. 265
Indexp. 269