Library Design Showcase 2010
This year's Library Design Showcase features 10 distinct sections, each highlighting one specific facet of library architecture or design. The sections are being posted, one per weekday, from March 15 through 26.
All libraries help to build their communities, of course, simply by being and by providing services and programs to all who choose to take part. These buildings, however, are notable for their community-focused features.
Sustainability remains a key and growing concern in new and renovated library buildings. The growth of the United States Green Building Council's LEED certification program is one clear indicator. In 2001, only 8 buildings—of any type—had been LEED certified. This year, 8 of the 85 submissions to the Library Design Showcase are among the 2,293 buildings LEED certified in 2009, and another 11 are actively seeking certificiation. LEED certification is, of course, not the singular determinant of whether a building is green or not, and the projects featured in this section each exhibit interesting approaches to sustainability.
Many people want nothing more than the comfort and quiet dignity of a traditional style when they go to the library. These projects, many of them historic restorations, offer just that.
Providing access to technology is an ever-increasing priority for nearly all libraries, particularly as the economy continues to lumber along and we often remain the only free access point in a community. These buildings support their patrons' and staffs' technological needs in unique ways.
Libraries in Harmony
While not necessarily part of a building proper, the landscaping of a library has a big impact on the user's experience. It can also have a big impact on the greenness of a construction project by reducing pollution and promoting biodiversity.
Themes and Styles
These projects execute their particular design concepts with style and panache.
To attract kids, and turn them into lifelong readers and library users, it's hardly surprising that libraries are building spaces as creative and playful as their youngest patrons. Unleash your imagination with this selection of childrens' sections.
Let There Be Light
Harvesting sunlight has the power to save energy and therefore money, and to brighten up a library like fluorescent just can't. But as anyone who has tried to use a computer in tanning-bed-powerful glare will tell you, sunlight has to be controlled to be desirable. These buildings have mechanisms in place to do just that.
This section of the Library Design Showcase highlights special architectural elements and unique works of art. They won't be right for or available at every library—but they may be right for yours.
Libraries at Night
This final section of the 2010 Library Design Showcase is self-explanatory: beautiful library buildings, under the stars. Enjoy!