Notes from ALA Annual Community College Hot Topics Discussion about facilities
Thanks to David Wright for this summary!
Participants discussed planned or recently completed changes in arrangement/layout of existing spaces. David Wark, architect with Hennebery Eddy firm from Seattle participated in this discussion as well.
Maureen Stephens from Shasta College talked about the need for creating space for a library instruction classroom. Staff relocation is part of the plan. Another concern is placement of the Reference desk. Is having the Reference desk close to Circulation a good idea? There is no planned café because they have a Starbucks next door. David Wright from Surry Community College talked about re-arranging existing space and re-locating staff as part of a plan to consolidate major services on one level of the building instead of having to split a small number of staff.
There was some discussion of “building issues,” problems with existing library buildings. This discussion was primarily for the benefit of Mr. Wark, as a way of pointing out features of buildings that do not work well in practice. These issues covered adequate lighting (avoiding custom-designed fixtures, one library has light fixtures with the air ducts built in around lights, no longer available), staffing issues (including times when the library has only 2 staff members present -evening hours) in layout design, making the library space a welcoming space. Other problems can be created by having large south-facing windows, wasted space in large mezzanine areas, etc.
Mr. Work asked about social spaces in libraries, some discussion followed about the need for collaborative spaces, the need to have technology-ready spaces (electrical outlets for laptops throughout, including wired tables).
More discussion centered on the need for flexibility in spaces, planning for lots of areas of comfortable furniture(couches and upholstered chairs), some study carrels, but need larger ones than in past because of use of laptops. Study rooms are also needed, but with good visibility for supervision.
Other issues discussed included bond issues, what is involved, creating a vision for the library facility (either new facility or existing space that needs re-working), strategizing for fund-raising, and the issues involving possible LEED certification (Oregon has an energy policy for buildings).