10 March 2009

BOOK REVIEW: Checklist of Library Building Design Considerations

Sannwald, William M., Checklist of Library Building Design Considerations, 5th ed., Chicago: ALA Editions, 2009, ISBN 978-0-8389-0978-2, US$55.00

The former head of the San Diego Public Library (now on the faculty at San Diego State University) has compiled a great list of checklists for building projects for (primarily public and academic) libraries.

Yes, it is all checklists, but they are very comprehensive. He starts with what to do before you build, including determining space needs, choosing an architect and contractor. Next he covers site selection, sustainable design, and exterior considerations (landscaping, parking, signage, even trash cans). There is a long section on interior organization: entrance, circulation and reference desks, media, meeting rooms, restrooms, workrooms, even a library store. An equally long section follows on compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Then come sections on media and technology, interior design and finishes (including furniture and lighting), materials handling and storage (shelving), building systems (heating, electrical, plumbing), safety and security, and maintenance. The last two sections deal with post-building issues such as moving, evaluation, and groundbreaking and dedication ceremonies.

There is no index, but it is not really needed since there is a very detailed table of contents. There is an extensive bibliography, but it contains only print materials and nothing by my building gurus Fred Schlipf and John Moorman.

This seems to be a very useful book to have on hand for any library building or remodeling project, for any type of library, small or large.

To order, go to http://www.alastore.ala.org/detail.aspx?ID=2492.

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