07 May 2009

Considerations for a New or Re-designed Library Space

Jody H. Kelley of McKenna Long and Aldridge LLP, Los Angeles, California asked the members of the Private Law Libraries Section of the American Association of Law Libraries for suggestions for her new library space. The following are in no order (except for #1).

1. LIGHTING! The #1 suggestion was about lighting. Besides the universal wish for windows, I was also counseled to make sure I see the lighting plan before the space is built. You would think designers know that lighting is important in a library, but that appears to be an erroneous assumption.
2. Adequate staff/workroom space.
3. Comfortable chairs. One librarian suggested that I have a Partner sit in a chair for 15 minutes before buying them!
4. Waist-high countertops or pull-out shelves so library users can easily look through an index or do some quick research. I must say, this is high on my list.
5. Public access computer, training computer, sufficient outlets and data ports for laptops.
6. Ventilation! Control over heat and air.
6. Central library, in an open environment. Not shelves scattered around the firm.

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