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People places revisited: guidelines for public library buildings (excerpt)

User needs

There has been a transformation from process and collection centred buildings to buildings which focus on communities and their needs. People are spending longer in libraries. Onsite use is outstripping growth in loans. People need a pleasant environment where they will feel comfortable. They may want to converse with each other: general noise levels are higher. Some people want a room of their own where they can discuss issues and work as a group. Others just want a quiet area to themselves where they can concentrate.

Inclusiveness is being addressed not just by resources and services but by environments with, for example, community art and public art integrated into building designs.  All age groups are represented among the people who are staying longer in libraries, so we need stroller space for children and electric cart space for the less mobile. In addition we have an ageing population and accessibility requirements will become more and more important. Many libraries have identified target groups whom they wish to engage, including young people, older men and nonusers generally, and are finding ways of appealing to them with programs or by generating visual appeal.

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February 22, 2009 Posted by | libraries | Leave a comment