17 May 2006


Billed as “the resource for library planning, design & building,” Designing Libraries: Library Buildings Online is a great resource from the UK. It is a joint venture of Museums Libraries and Archive (MLA), the Thomas Parry Library, University of Wales, Aberystwyth, and the Chartered Institution of Librarians and Information Professionals (CILIP). While there are only UK resources listed now, it is planned to expand to include sites from other countries.

The site provides: a database of descriptions and images of recent completed, and in progress, UK and worldwide public library building projects; a resource for interactively sharing expertise and experience on library planning and design, through discussion forums and email lists; and links to a range of on and offline resources useful to anyone involved in planning, designing or building libraries. There is also a newsletter you can sign up for.

The database lists the library and contact details, type, population served, type of construction, size (of building and collection), architect, furniture supplier, cost, funding source, special features, awards won, if any, URL, and photos if supplied. There is also a map of its exact location. There are also five photo albums: exteriors, interiors, children’s areas, floor plans, and signage.

Finally, there are a few user forums: hot topics, accessibility, technology, urban design week, public libraries and public spaces, and public libraries in a retail environment. Wouldn’t it be nice if there were such a resource for US libraries??? (Other than the annual Library Journal building issue…)

URL: http://www.designinglibraries.org.uk/

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