“Seattle Public Library on a sunny day” by Moody75 Licensed under a [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons. Retrieved from http://www.flickr.com/photos/moody75/48112462/
What does it mean to build a public library for the 21st
century? Library design should reflect the mission of the library. Traditionally, the library has been a space for books, but the advent of new media, e-resources, and patrons’ desire for the library to offer other services requires the library and architecture communities to consider how to design a building that creates a sense of community. The presentation will examine the idea of third place as it applies to libraries. Because the physical design of public library buildings is really a discussion about values, needs, and goals, it will look at (1) how people feel about public libraries, (2) how people use public libraries, and (3) what people want from their public libraries. The final section will present four case studies as a way to examine the role architecture can play to meet people’s needs and desires for their public libraries.