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« Challenging the Vision of the Community School Model

Consider the library’s role in the community, both as a public space and an academic space.

As we gaze at the future of learning and and to the continual development of communities alike, libraries offer us a striking chance to watch history and trends weave together. Libraries continue to be the last bastion of classic research and civil behavior. At the same time, with the advent of wide-spread technology use, the introduction of ‘coffee shops’ into historically silent lobbies, and the very value of book stacks being called into question, one has to wonder if the library of the future will resemble the quiet/reflective book-dominated spaces of the past.

To that end, DesignShare was pleased to see a wonderful conversation introduced by Kristen and ArchNewsNow that took place between architects with much to say on library design trends. This was the scenario:

In celebration of the annual American Library Association Convention being held this month in New Orleans, we asked ArchNewsNow contributor Kenneth Caldwell to interview two leading architects on library design trends.

Mark Schatz, AIA, a principal with Field Paoli, is well known in the San Francisco Bay Area for his community centers and public libraries. Schatz discusses combining those building types and the public process that is required to get there.

Ed Dean, AIA, LEED, recently joined San Francisco-based Chong Partners as a project director working on academic and large public libraries. Dean offers some observations about combining these uses.

We appreciated the entire converstation, but in particular were intrigued by points made about the civic nature of library spaces, creating ‘pre-reading’ zones for younger children, the merger of libraries into commercial spaces, the very process of bringing a community together as new library projects were beginning to be discussed, and the issue of sustainable spaces that can remain flexible. And of course the issue of technology was certainly front-and-center in both public and academic libraries.

Clearly the future of libraries will not be a mirror reflection of what we’ve all grown-up visiting.

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