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Wednesday, January 25, 2012

LIS 587 - Facilities Planning for Libraries and Information Centres

LIS 587 - Facilities Planning for Libraries and Information Centres

Course Outline 

Course Outline

The examination of the building needs of various types of libraries and information centres, the involvement of information professionals and architects in the planning process, and various contemporary building styles.


  • General:
    • To develop in students a feeling for, and understanding of, attractive and functional contemporary library and information centre design.
    • Specific:
      • To enable students to write library service specifications (a building program) from which the architect's working drawings may be prepared.


      This course is designed to acquaint students with the history of library architecture, the cooperative process involving librarians and architects in planning and equipping the building, and the design of library and information centre facilities up to and including preparation of working drawings. Various types of library buildings are studied, with an emphasis on similarities and differences in design. Planning a library environment that is functional as well as aesthetically appealing is emphasized.

      Instructional methods typically include:

      The course will consist of a combination of lectures, reports from guest speakers, library critique presentations by students, the viewing of audio visual materials and visits to libraries in the area.

      Course Relationships:

      Pre-requisite: LIS 501.

      Assignments & Evaluation: N/A

      Weekend 1 (Part 1) – September 
      ·        Class Participation              
      Weekend 2 (Part 2) – September 
      ·        Class Participation              
      Presentation: In Class on Architect 20%
      Weekend 3 (Part 3) – September 30, October 1 and 2
      ·        Class Participation              
      Major Paper and Brief Presentation: In Class and Assignment 30% Due: September 
      Planning Project  40% Due: October 
      An overall class participation mark is weighted at 10% .
      Note: Raw scores (i.e. marks on assignments) are totalled and converted to the letter-grading scale at the end of the course. 

      Working in teams of (two), select a favourite architect.  This individual does not necessarily need to be contemporary.  The architect’s work may or may not include libraries.  Your presentation may include, but not limited to the following details: your reason for selecting the architect; biographical details; architectural style; interior design work; and such things as their work, awards, etc.
      To avoid duplicate presentations on the same architect, kindly use the sign-up sheet that will be posted in class. Your presentation should be done using PowerPoint.  Please send the presentation by email to the instructor as well.
      An essay based on library research is required of each member of the class, due on the date specified in the schedule of assignment dates.  As part of the class participation mark, students are expected to share the findings of their work in the form of a brief, informal presentation (less than ten minutes).  Students will not be marked on this portion. 
      The essay can be on any topic falling within the broad framework of this course; the list of possible topics contained on the course Web site might be of assistance to you in choosing a subject area, but you are by no means restricted to this list. Please discuss your chosen essay topic with the course instructor before proceeding to do any substantial amount of work on it.
      The essay should include:
      1.    An introduction. State the purpose of your essay. Include a sentence or two giving your reasons for selecting your topic; these should relate in part to the significance of the subject for the field of library facilities planning. Present the plan of the essay. Introduce any issues, and indicate why they are important.
      2.    The main body. You will need to review literature pertinent to the topic; this review should be included in a section at the beginning of the main body of your essay. Then discuss your topic and analyze, compare, or critique the findings in the light of your introductory statements. The essay should be based on research from a variety of sources, and should include appropriate footnotes (or endnotes) to these sources of information. You should reference all statements of fact which are not your own, not simply quotations.
      3.    The conclusion. The conclusion should tie the essay together. Briefly summarize your findings. What conclusions can you draw from the literature? What are your interpretations of these conclusions? How do your findings impact on the field of library facilities planning? What do you foresee happening in this area in the near future?
      Please include a table of contents at the beginning of your essay. It is also often helpful for the reader to divide the main body of your essay into major topics, using topic headings.
      The essay will be assessed with reference to the following factors, in order of priority:
      The essay should be no more than 10 in length, including bibliography. Please note the due date for turning in the essay, as listed in the schedule of assignment dates, as late essays will be penalized in the evaluation process (please see the handout "Evaluation of the Essay"). Thank you very much!
      Some Possible Essay Topics
      1.    Compare the benefits/drawbacks of building compared with renting space.
      2.    Consider the "library of the future". For what new trends should you be planning?
      3.    Outline the implications of various psychological factors involved in library facilities planning. These factors tend to be connected with such matters as windows, ceiling heights, privacy versus open space, "personal space", light, heat, noise, furniture style, colour schemes, decorative art, plants, etc.  
      4.    Librarians, building committees, consultants, and architects-- what should be their functions and relationships in the planning process?
      5.    How are library standards related to building planning?
      6.    What has been, and is, the influence of aesthetic factors on library architecture?
      7.    Give an overview of library architectural history for a particular region and/or time period.
      8.    Outline the basic types of library building designs, with their positive and negative features.
      9.    What are some considerations in planning library facilities to allow for their use by persons with disabilities?
      10.  What are some problems encountered in re-modeling, renovating, or enlarging a library building?
      11.  Outline the steps one might take in planning and carrying out the move of a large library.
      12.  What has been, and will be in the future, the influence of electronic technology on the planning of library facilities?
      13.  Your own idea?
      The Essay is evaluated at 30% of the final mark for the course and is weighted at a total of 30 points. The following breakdown of weighting is used, according to the various elements of the essay as outlined in the "Guidelines":
      1.    The introduction, as outlined in (1). (2.5 points)
      2.    The main body, as outlined in (2). (15 points)
      3.    The conclusion, as outlined in (3). (2.5 points)
      4.    Mechanics; "readability" of the essay. (10 points)
      Your essay will be returned to you with written comments throughout, and an evaluative summary at the end.
      LIS 587: The Planning Project
      PLANNING PROJECT (40/100)
      A practical planning project is required from teams of (two). The project can be centred on any topic falling within the broad framework of this course; the list of possible topics on the course Web site might be of assistance to you in making a choice, but you are by no means confined to this list. Please discuss your chosen project topic with the instructor before proceeding to do any substantial amount of work on it.
      There is no single desirable format for the project; format will vary depending on the topic chosen. For example, the work in planning the layout of a small public library would lie mostly in coming up with the design itself, so that the completed project might not be that extensive in terms of number of pages. Such a project, when complete, would include the layout itself, plus around ten to fifteen pages devoted to a "community survey" (see below) and an explanation of the design concepts employed, having to do with space relationships, sizes of spaces, etc. Thus, it is crucial that you speak with the course instructor before beginning your work in order to discuss how your particular project might best be handled.
      Here are a few points to remember regarding the project:
      1.    Ideally, we should all be working in the metric system. This is sometimes difficult, as many planning guides and texts are published in the U.S., and standards and specifications are in the American version of the imperial system, but do your best at translating to metric. Architects and builders in Canada use metric, so if we are to work with them in library planning, we should understand and be able to use that system ourselves.
      2.    Ideally, we should all be working in the metric system. This is sometimes difficult, as many planning guides and texts are published in the U.S., and standards and specifications are in the American version of the imperial system, but do your best at translating to metric. Architects and builders in Canada use metric, so if we are to work with them in library planning, we should understand and be able to use that system ourselves.
      3.    Layouts or floor plans should be drawn to scale, and the scale shown on the drawing. The direction of north should also be indicated, as the siting of a building has some influence on where spaces are positioned within it. The direction north should be toward the top of the layout. It is helpful to include a drawing showing how the library relates to other structures on the site; this is mandatory if the library is located within a building used also for other purposes, as is particularly the case with special libraries. Please print your names and the course number on the reverse side of the layout so that it is visible when the layout is rolled up.
      4.    Unless you are dealing with a very small unit, your layout will need to be on a sheet greater in size than 8-1/2" x 11" (funny, we still use the imperial system for paper sizes!). Do the best you can with drawing the plan--you don't have to be a draftsperson. All you really need is a straightedge. We will discuss this in class.
      5.    In the portion of your discussion section where you justify space requirements and relationships, you should cite authorities for your recommendations. This is very important! In "real life", as a library administrator you would never expect your board to authorize spaces of certain dimensions on your "say" alone. But if you can say that Metcalfe, a recognized authority, or Dahlgren, or the Canadian Library Association, or the American Library Association, etc., recommends these dimensions as a minimum requirement, given your type of library, numbers of patrons, size of staff, sizes of collections, etc., etc., you are on far firmer ground and can make good arguments to support your requests. Attention should be given to space relationships, and these relationships should be discussed.
      6.    Every project should as a minimum have three parts--a narrative section which is in essence a "community survey" outlining requirements, the drawing portion showing the layout proposed to meet these requirements, and a narrative portion explaining and justifying the layout. As mentioned, these will vary in format, depending on the project. In some cases more than one drawing will be required--for example, if you critique an existing library plan. You would then need a layout of the existing library, some narrative critiquing it and proposing alternatives, and a drawing showing the new layout being proposed. A table of contents is always useful to the architect, as well as a bibliography of sources used in preparation of the project. In some projects, the narrative portion might need a "conclusions" section.
      7.    Even projects which might appear to be purely narrative, such as creating a building program for a college learning resource centre, or drawing up furniture and equipment specifications for the children's section of a public library, should have drawings attached, to show what you are proposing will look like as a finished facility.
      8.    Remember, you are producing something very practical, not some piece of abstract research. Your finished project will be evaluated from the point of view of the administrator or architect or builder. Is it feasible and desirable to build this structure? Is the design a workable one? Is it aesthetically appealing? And, though we are not dealing here with actual dollars, budget does become a consideration in many cases if what is being proposed is on too large a scale considering the needs as described in the community survey portion.
      As mentioned, there is no length prescription for the project, as this will vary depending on topic. This is the most practical assignment in this course.  Please see: Evaluation of the Planning Project. Good luck!
      The Planning Project -- Some Possible Project Topics
      1.    Create a library building program for a small facility.
      2.    Plan the interior design of a bookmobile.
      3.    Plan the interior design of a small library (colour scheme and furniture layout).
      4.    Produce furniture and equipment specifications for a small library.
      5.    Develop a school library layout, assuming one librarian with little clerical help.
      6.    Plan the layout for a small public library.
      7.    Plan the layout for a small college library.
      8.    Plan the layout for a special facility of your choosing--e.g., music library, archive, map library, multimedia area, special collections area, documents section, art library, departmental library in a university, etc.
      9.    Plan the layout for a special library facility designed for a particular audience, as a children's section of a public library or a law library, for example.
      10.  Plan a layout for the expansion of an existing facility.
      11.  Create a signage program for a small library.
      12.  Critique an existing library, such as the main floor of Cameron Library, the H.T. Coutts (Education) Library main floor, the Bruce Peel Special Collections Library, or a college library or public library branch; identify problem areas connected with the layout; and create an alternate layout for the facility which solves the problems you have identified.
      13.  Your own idea?
      Evaluation of the Planning Project
      The Planning Project is evaluated at 40% of the final mark for the course, and is weighted at a total of 40 points The following breakdown of weighting is used, according to the three parts of the project as outlined in (5) of the "Guidelines" given out at the beginning of the course, plus a fourth category, "mechanics":
      1.    The introduction/description section, in which you introduce the project, survey the user community and describe its makeup, and introduce the standards/formulas you have used to arrive at staff/collection sizes and to allocate space to each area, or, in other types of projects, to arrive at numbers and types of furnishings and equipment needed, etc. Why you used the particular standards you did is also important. (5 points)
      2.    The layout or floor plan, including scale, legibility, space relationships and traffic circulation patterns as they can be determined from the plan, and ease of interpretation of the layout as a whole, or, in other types of projects, the appropriate floor plan and furniture and equipment specifications, colour scheme, etc. For a "stand-alone" public library, parking should also be considered. (15 points)
      3.    The rationale or justification for your plan, including your discussion of space relationships, acoustics, lighting, traffic circulation patterns, and anything else pertaining to the layout and your reasons for designing it the way you did, including how you applied the standards with regard to space allocation. In other types of projects, this would include the rationale for the types of furniture and equipment selected, colour scheme selected, etc. (10 points)
      4.    The mechanics of the project--the quality of the overall editing and grammar and the general "readability" of the narrative portions. (10 points) The planning project will be returned to you with a summary of the point totals for these four categories included at the end. Comments will be written throughout each project, and a longer narrative summary of the evaluation will be included at or near the end, where space permits.
      To summarize The Planning Project, the project should be something very practical, not some piece of abstract research. The finished project will be evaluated from the point of view of the administrator, architect, or builder. Is it feasible to build this structure? Is the design a workable one? Is it aesthetically appealing? Is the furniture and equipment selected of appropriate design, and in sufficient quantities, to meet the needs of future users? Is the colour scheme aesthetically pleasing, etc.? Many of the projects done in this class have later proved useful in actual planning situations. Maybe yours will too!

      Tentative Timetable:N/A

      Part 1: September
      1. Introduction; History and Overview of Library Architecture
      2. Nature of the Planning Process; Design Procedures; Space Needs Assessments; Establishing Building Plans; Financing Construction; Writing a Building Program Statement
      Part 2: September 
      1. Librarians, Building Committees, Consultants and Architects; Library Standards and Their Relation to Building Plans;
      2. Remodelling, Retrofitting, and Renovation; Sharing Space; Moving a Library; Off-Site Storage
      Part 3: September & October 
      1. Traffic Circulation Patterns; Security; Signage; Furniture and Equipment Specifications; Housing the Collection
      2. Library trends; Best Practices and Facilities Management
      3. Architectural Competitions 

      Readings and Resources

      The main library collections contain much material relevant to the course, and students will be encouraged to use the materials in connection with their assignments. There is no textbook for the course, but a select list of facilities planning texts is provided below.

      Select List of Library Facility Planning Materials

      Brown, Carol R. Planning Library Interiors: the Selection of Furnishings for the 21st Century. Phoenix, AZ: Oryx Press, 1995
      Building a scholarly communications center: modeling the Rutgers experience. Edited by Boyd Collins, Chicago: American Library Association, 1999
      Building blocks for library space: functional guidelines. Edited by Deborah Bloomfield Dancik and Emelie Jensen Shroder. Chicago: American Library Association, Library Administration and Management Association: Buildings and Equipment Section, 1995
      Building libraries for the 21st century: the shape of information. Edited by Terry D. Webb. Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 2000
      Checklist of library building design considerations, fifth edition. Edited by William W. Sannwald. Chicago: American Library Association, 2009
      Collins, Boyd, et al. Building a scholarly communications center: modeling the Rutgers experience. Chicago: American Library Association, 1999
      Crawford, Walt and Michael Gorman. Future Libraries: Dreams, Madness, and Reality. Chicago: American Library Association, 1995
      Dahlgren, Anders C., Planning the small library facility. (LAMA Small Library Publications, #231). Chicago: American Library Association, 1996
      Dewe, Michael. Planning Public Library Buildings: Concepts and Issues for the Librarian. Burlington, VT: Ashgate Publishing Company, 2006
      Edwards, Heather M. University library building planning. Metuchen, NJ: Scarecrow Press, 1990
      Erickson, Rolf and Carolyn Markuson. Designing a school library media center for the future. Chicago: American Association of School Libraries, 2001
      Facilities Standards for Art Libraries and Visual Resources Collections: Art Libraries Society of North America. Edited by Betty Jo Irvine. Englewood, CO: Libraries Unlimited, 1991
      Halsted, Jasper, et al. Disaster Planning: A How-To-Do-It Manual for Librarians with Planning Templates on CD-ROM, New York: Neal-Schuman Publishers, Inc., 2005
      Kahn, Miriam B. The Library Security and Safety Guide To Prevention, Planning and Response. Chicago: American Library Association, 2008
      Kaser, David. The evolution of the American academic library building. Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press, 1997
      Koontz, Christine M. Library facility siting and location handbook. (The Greenwood Library Management Collection). Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1997
      Laubier, Guillaime de. The Most Beautiful Libraries of the World. London: Thames & Hudson, 2003
      Library as Place: Rethinking Roles, Rethinking Space. Washington: Council on Library and Information Resources, 2005
      Leighton, Philip D., and David C. Weber. Planning academic and research library buildings. 3rd ed. (First edition by Keyes D. Metcalf). Chicago: American Library Association, 1999
      Lueder, Dianne C., and Sally Webb. Administrator’s Guide to Library Buildings Maintenance. Chicago: American Library Association, 1992
      Lull, William P. Conservation Environment Guidelines for Libraries and Archives. Ottawa: Canadian Council of Archives, 1995
      Lushington, Nolan. Libraries Designed for Users. New York: Neal-Schuman Publishers, Inc. 2002
      Managing Facilities for Results: Optimizing Space for Services/Cheryl Bryan for the Public Library Association. Chicago: American Library Association, 2007
      Mattern, Shannon. The New Downtown Library. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2007
      McCabe, Gerard B. Planning for a New Generation of Public Library Buildings. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 2000
      McCarthy, Richard C. Managing Your Library Construction Project: A Step By-Step Guide. Chicago: American Library Association, 2007
      Margeton, Stephen G. Introduction to Academic Law Library Design: a Features Approach. Littleton, CO: F.R. Rothman, 2000
      Metcalf, Keyes. Planning Academic and Research Library Buildings: second edition. Edited by Philip D. Leighton and David C. Weber. Chicago: American Library Association, 1986
      Michalski, Stefan. Guidelines for humidity and temperature in Canadian archives. (Technical Bulletin #23). Ottawa: Canadian Conservation Institute, 2000
      Murphy, Tish. Library Furnishings: A Planning Guide. Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers, 2007
      Petroski, Henry. The book on the bookshelf. New York, Alfred A. Knopf, 1999
      Scott, Wendy. The Accessible Canadian Library II: A Resource Tool for Libraries Serving Persons with Disabilities. Ottawa: The National Library of Canada, 1996
      Shuman, Bruce. Library Security and Safety Handbook: Prevention, Policies and Procedures. Chicago: American Library Association, 1999
      Staikos, K. The Great Libraries: from Antiquity to the Renaissance (3000 B.C. to A.D. 1600). 1st English ed. New Castle, DE: Oak Knoll Press & London: The British Library, 2000
      Switzer, Teri R. Safe at Work?: Library Security and Safety Issues. Landham, MD: Scarecrow Press, 1999
      Taney, Kimberly Bolan. Teen Spaces: The Step-by-Step Library Makeover. Chicago: American Library Association, 2003
      Trotta, Carmine J. and Marcia Trotta. The Librarian’s Facility Management Handbook. New York: Neal-Schuman Publishers, Inc., 2001
      Woodward, Jeannette. Countdown to a New Library: Managing the Building Project. Chicago: American Library Association, 2000

      Additional Information

      American Libraries Annual Report on Facilities and Furnishings. April issue each year. An annual special report that includes articles on interior design, renovations, arrangement of services and materials, working with architects, planning new libraries as well as photographs of new furniture and libraries.
      The Bowker Annual. Each yearly publication contains a helpful article on some aspect of facilities planning, with data on, and listings of new public library buildings.
      Buildings [special issue]. December issue, each year of Library Journal. This issue is focused on current library building projects, including renovations and additions, as well as costs, and the architects involved: include photographs.
      Buildings. ALA yearbook of library and information services. This annual publication of the American Library Association includes a regular section entitled: Buildings that lists new buildings by region and type, and features discussions of architectural and other trends in library facilities planning.
      Library Technology Reports. Six issues per year. Published by the American Library Association, these reports include useful evaluations and critiques of library-related equipment and furnishings.
      SPEC: a publication series for library staff. Published ten times per year by the Systems and Procedures Exchange Center of the Association of Research Libraries "SPEC Kits" offer to working librarians practical information on the management of human and material resources in libraries today. Some "SPEC Kits" are centred on topics having to do with facilities planning.

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