Call Number with American Libraries, Episode 66 - Library Architecture and Design: The Past Meets the Future

Call Number Podcast: Library Architecture and Design

September 21, 2021

First, American Libraries Senior Editor and Call Number host Phil Morehart speaks with Heather Hart, manager of Salt Lake City Public Library’s Sprague branch, about renovations that were made to the 93-year-old, English Tudor–style library after a flood destroyed much of the building in 2017. Next, Morehart talks with Sean Ngo from architecture firm DLR … Continue reading Call Number Podcast: Library Architecture and Design


2021 Library Design Showcase

September 1, 2021

Higher learning D. H. Hill Jr. Library at North Carolina State University in Raleigh Lord Aeck Sargent transformed D. H. Hill Jr. Library into an open, light-filled facility with an eye on the future. The removal of stacks on the second and third floors created new areas for study, academic support, and technology immersion. In … Continue reading 2021 Library Design Showcase


2021 ALA/AIA Library Building Awards

September 1, 2021 The following libraries are winners of the 2021 Library Building Awards, sponsored by Core: Leadership, Infrastructure, Futures (a division of the American Library Association) and the American Institute of Architects. The awards recognize the best in library architecture and design and are open to any architect licensed in the United States. Projects may be located … Continue reading 2021 ALA/AIA Library Building Awards

Librarian's Library by Araceli Mendez Hintermeister

Design Inspiration

September 1, 2021

    100+ Ideas to Inspire Smart Spaces and Creative Places By Elisabeth Doucett Doucett invites librarians to find inspiration in the spaces around them to create a more engaging and inviting experience for patrons. Through short, standalone chapters, the author guides readers on the ways in which they can attract new patrons and welcome … Continue reading Design Inspiration


The Library Learning Center at Texas Southern University in Houston

Show Us Your Beautiful New Library

January 4, 2021

We are looking for examples of innovative library architecture that address patrons’ needs in unique, interesting, and effective ways. In this unprecedented year, we are also interested in submissions from libraries that are responding to the pandemic through building design and renovation. If your library is on the cutting edge, we want our readers to … Continue reading Show Us Your Beautiful New Library


Library Learning Center at Texas Southern University in Houston. Photo: Kayla Hartzog

2020 Library Design Showcase

September 1, 2020 Welcome to the 2020 Library Design Showcase, American Libraries’ annual celebration of new and renovated libraries. These shining examples of architectural innovation—completed before the COVID-19 pandemic—address user needs in unique, interesting, and effective ways. As with past showcases, renovations and expansions dominate submissions, as communities find novel ways to conserve and honor existing spaces while … Continue reading 2020 Library Design Showcase

A floor plan for furniture removal at Hennepin County (Minn.) Library’s Eden Prairie branch. Illustration: MSR Design

Virus-Responsive Design

September 1, 2020

Traci Engel Lesneski, CEO and principal at Minneapolis-based national architecture firm MSR Design, which has worked with hundreds of libraries across the country, says libraries are ideal spaces for innovative design solutions. “It’s not a stretch to think about the ways that libraries have modeled what’s next in the world,” she says. “Libraries can talk … Continue reading Virus-Responsive Design


Composite image of different people standing, sitting, and walking through a library space

Encoding Space

September 1, 2020

Various studies support the notion that space affects our mood and behaviors. From architects and interior designers to psychologists and neuroscientists to community developers and retail managers, numerous experts have discussed the impact of physical environments on the way we think, feel, learn, and act. Swayed by our surroundings We each respond consciously (and often … Continue reading Encoding Space


Dewey Decibel: Library Architecture and Design

Dewey Decibel Podcast: Library Architecture and Design

August 17, 2020

First, Dewey Decibel host and American Libraries Senior Editor Phil Morehart speaks with Wardell Ross Jr., director of Houston operations for architectural firm Moody Nolan, who was project manager for Texas Southern University’s new Library Learning Center. Morehart and Ross discuss the library’s features and how its design reflects and showcases the heritage of the … Continue reading Dewey Decibel Podcast: Library Architecture and Design


Sustainability in Libraries: Lisa G. Kropp

Enduring, Disrupting, and Thriving

April 28, 2020

To mark the 50th anniversary of Earth Day—and recognize the American Library Association adding sustainability as a core value—American Libraries returns with its ongoing sustainability series. In these posts, information professionals share their experiences with sustainability in libraries. Although I wrote that sentence in March 2020, in the midst of a global pandemic, that is … Continue reading Enduring, Disrupting, and Thriving


From left: Jeffery Davis, Margaret Sullivan, Salvador Avila, Melanie Huggins, and Danielle Milam.

Human-Centered Spaces

February 29, 2020

“Architecture isn’t about buildings, it’s about people,” said Jeffery Davis, library planner and designer at Architectural Nexus in Salt Lake City. Davis, Milam, and fellow panelists at “Inclusionary Tactics that Flip the Script for Library Facility Planning,” a February 28 program of the Public Library Association 2020 Conference in Nashville, emphasized that library design’s new … Continue reading Human-Centered Spaces


Richland Library Main in Columbia, South Carolina, was featured in the 2019 Library Design Showcase. Photo: Garrett Rowland

Show Us Your Beautiful New Library

January 2, 2020

We are looking for shining examples of innovative library architecture that address patrons’ needs in unique, interesting, and effective ways. Previous submissions have ranged from stunning restorations of historic Carnegie buildings to vacant structures that have been repurposed into libraries to high-tech facilities with audio and video production studios. If your library is on the … Continue reading Show Us Your Beautiful New Library