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Public Library – Architectural Essay

* Introduction * Definition A library (from French “librairie”; Latin “liber” = book) is an organized collection of information resources made accessible to a defined community for reference or borrowing. It provides physical or digital access to material, and may be a physical building or room, or a virtual space, or both. A library’s collection can include books, periodicals, newspapers, manuscripts, films,maps, prints, documents, microform, CDs, cassettes, videotapes, DVDs, Blu-ray Discs, e-books, audio books, databases, and other formats.

Libraries range in size from a few shelves of books to several million items. * A public library “should encourage the following uses: browsing, seeking, studying, meeting, and borrowing. Major trends likely to influence library design in the foreseeable future include: a 30% increase in pensioners by 2025, and a significant diminution in those of working age; a significant increase in those with a higher education; more part- time work; more jobs in knowledge-based areas, and fewer in manufacturing. * History The concept of the ‘public library’ evolved from the Guildhall Library in 15th century London.

In the 17th and 18th centuries, most libraries were created by gift or endowment, but by the beginning of the 19th century, these had generally been superseded by either institutional (e. g. those attached to mechanics’ institutes or literary and philosophical societies) or subscription libraries. The Public Libraries Act of 1850 was one of several social reforms of the mid- 19th century, and was generally intended to create ‘free libraries’, available to all classes of society throughout the country. The first two purpose- designed public libraries were Norwich and Warrington, in 1857.

The Public Libraries Act of 1919 further extended library provision. Besides the lending library and the reading room, most libraries now had a reference department, and many had separate children’s departments. After 1918 there was a considerable increase in technical and commercial libraries (over 115 by 1924). By the 1930~~ most libraries had adopted open access (as opposed to books being available over a counter via the library staff), which required more sophisticated classification and cataloguing systems – the Dewey system was generally adopted.

Increasing literacy and leisure time plus the ‘information explosion’ make it important to plan for maximum flexibility and for future expansion. New techniques are changing methods of control, indexing and retrieval. The growing availability of computerized information (particularly on compact discs and on-line electronic systems) means there is a change in emphasis from book storage to information exchange utilizing computer equipment. These require additional ventilation and secure power supplies, and suitable lighting levels for users.

The wide availability of computers means that the problem of space, and particularly the location of a library in a single building, may no longer be critical. * Space Requirements * Public services – A central library may serve in the region of one million customers per year, with a peak daily count of approximately 5000 to 6000 people and a peak hourly count of up to 400. The following service areas may be provided * Branch library – May be included as a discrete section of a central library, probably near the entrance, and cater for more popular books and related material.

There will be only a few thousand volumes, acting as a ‘taster’ invitation to what is available elsewhere in the library. The library may be divided into subject areas, perhaps with defined enquiry points. Study spaces, browsing areas, and publicly available computer terminals can also be provided in each subject area. The various areas may be open plan, but must be visually defined (possibly by variations in lighting, different finishes and planting).

* Older teenage section – An area for this group is desirable (fiction and non-fiction) and should be located between the children’s library and main lending library (literature and humanities sections). * Children’s library – Occupying approximately 300 m2, with roughly 12000 volumes for ages up to 14 and their careers, this area should have its own identity, and demonstrate to all children that visiting the library is a safe and enjoyable experience. There must be good visibility to maximize child security and safety; it should also be difficult for children to wander out of this area.

* There should be a sequence of information books for all ages and sections for: * pre-school (there should be ‘kinderboxes’, shelves with picture books, novelty cushions, child chairs) * early school years (easy-reader books, with appropriate shelves and browser units) * primary school years (stories, with appropriate shelves and browser units) m young teenage (novels, with appropriate shelves and browser units). Spoken-word cassettes and other media should also be available. In addition, provide ten study places, eight browsing seats and an enquiry desk for two staff.

* Children‘s activities room – A room for up to 35 children may be required for a variety of activities (63m2). * Exhibition area – Easily accessible from the main entrance, but with a distinct identity and with suitable security, an area for exhibitions is desirable (40m2). * Lavatories – The requirement for customers is 38m2 and also 15m2 for the children’s library, which should include a nappy changing room. Depending on the overall plan, one or two sets of staff lavatories will be required (each of 32m2).

* Meeting rooms- Include one room for 100 people (200m2 in total), with divider to separate the room in a proportion of 60:40. Chair storage and simple catering facilities are also required. A small room for about six people is also required. Access may be required when other parts of the library are shut; good access from entrance(s) is therefore required. * Special collection library – This area may be required in larger or specialized libraries. An adjoining librarian’s office is necessary.

* Refreshments/coffee bar – For 50 customers maximum, providing drinks, snacks and light meals (105m2). * Sales point – An area to promote sales is required (this may be no more than a display case): the strategic location is important, but it may be combined with another area (13m2). * Study desks – These should be suitable for use with personal computers (which may be the customer’s own machine, necessitating simple plug- in compatibility). The integration of PCs with study furniture is very important. Two power sockets are also required.

* Art in architecture – Libraries are often considered excellent places in which to display local (or national) art, either in the form of permanent murals or sculpture, designed as an integral part of the building, or in facilities for temporary exhibitions. * Subject departments – Organization of a library into subject departments has always been a consideration. * Related Local Projects * Bohol Provincial Library and Information Center New Capitol Complex, Marapao Street, Tagbilaran City, Bohol * Alaminos City Library Alaminos City Hall, Alaminos City, Pangasinan * Butuan City Library J. Rosales Ave. , Butuan City.

* Cavite Provincial Library Legislative Building, Prov’l Capitol, Trece Martires City * Leocadio Alonsagay Dioso Memorial Public Library (Municipal Library of Pandan, Antique) Pandan, Antique, Philippines * Marikina City Public Library V. Gomez St. cor. Shoe Ave. , San Roque, Marikina City * National Library of the Philippines T. M. Kalaw Ermita 1000, Philippines * Quezon City Public Library (Several Branches) * San Carlos City Public Library (Negros Occidental) 610 Elm Street, San Carlos, CA 94070 * Raul S. Roco Library (Naga City Public Library) City Hall Compound, J. Miranda Ave. , Naga City * Zamboanga del Norte Public Library.

Santa Cruz, Dapitan City, Zamboanga del Norte, Philippines * Supporting Datum * A possible arrangement of a central library could typically be as follows (The Architects’ Handbook) * Business – At 184m2, this department contains 2100 volumes covering all aspects of business information (local, national and international). Customers will include: those hoping to set up their own business, those undertaking research to develop their existing business, and students. Some queries may come via fax or phone. Computerized information resources will probably be more prevalent here than in other departments.

Includes 40 study places and an enquiry point for two staff. * Community – With 9000 volumes (300m2), this holds social sciences and all quick-reference works (e. g. directories, yearbooks, timetables, etc. ). Includes 30 study places and an enquiry desk for three staff. Customers will be coming for both quick fact-finding and for longer-term study: any potential conflict therefore needs to be resolved. * Humanities – Department for arts, recreational pursuits (e. g. gardening), religion, music (books and scores), sound recordings (music cassettes and compact discs), and videos for hire.

With 495m2, 22 000 volumes, 9000 recordings (including videos), and 10500 sheet music. Includes 12 study spaces, four browsing seats and an enquiry desk for three staff. Note that there is a noise problem with customers browsing through music cases, which can be distracting in the study areas. * Literature and language – Department for adult fiction (9000 volumes), large-print fiction, spoken- word cassettes, multi-media, drama (9000 volumes), single copies and play sets (286m2), covering English and foreign languages. Includes 12 study spaces, four browsing seats and an enquiry desk for two staff.

Local studies/history 3000 volumes on public shelves (230m2); 50 study places; enquiry desk for three staff. This area will be used by short-term browsers (e. g. tourists) and for long-term study (students and researchers). It will also be used by those wanting information about local statutory agencies, and those looking for a quiet study area. Environmental conditions for this area must be designed in accordance with BS 5454: 1989. * People and places – For information books on travel (guides and travel/adventure), biographies, and human geography. 15000 volumes (240m2); 15 study places; four browsing places; enquiry desk for two staff.

* Science and technology – Area with 11000 volumes (200m2), covering computing and pure and applied sciences: 20 study places; no browsing seats; enquiry desk for two staff. Access and circulation areas generally As mentioned above, generally all public and staff areas should be accessible to people with disabilities, particularly those with sight or hearing impairments. * Other considerations are as follows (The Architects’ Handbook)

* Customer services/reception – An informal and welcoming atmosphere is required, as this is the first major point of contact for new customers and where existing customers can resolve queries (e.g. about availability and overdue books); space is required for three staff (51m2). Estimated peak daily level of registration updates is approximately 200; estimated peak level of enquiries, approximately 600. The area should allow for satisfactory queuing arrangements.

The general layout requirements are for: a professional, inviting and efficient reception area; clear layout and instructions for customers; maximum flexibility in staff resources; suitable supervision of customers; and suitable staff security.

* Internal circulation – The flow of people and materials (particularly the two-way flow of trolleys) should be made as easy as possible. Note that circulation areas provide opportunities for vandalism and concealment of theft, and should therefore: be kept to a minimum; follow a logical route; allow visual control by staff (closed-circuit TV may be installed); allow segregation of staff and public areas; allow segregation to enable secure out- of-hours use to specified areas; and allow easy emergency evacuation.

* Internal vertical circulation – This should be by lift and stairs, and possibly escalator. Lifts should: allow movement of staff, books and materials to all floor levels; be linked with the book sorting office; provide public access to main lending floors; provide suitable access for out-of-hours use. No more than four lifts should be provided. Security generally The key those wanting information about local statutory agencies, and those looking for a quiet study area.

Environmental conditions for this area must be designed in accordance with BS 5454: 1989. * People and places – For information books on travel (guides and travel/adventure), biographies, and human geography. 15000 volumes (240m2); 15 study places; four browsing places; enquiry desk for two staff. * Science and technology – Area with 11000 volumes (200m2), covering computing and pure and applied sciences: 20 study places; no browsing seats; enquiry desk for two staff.

Access and circulation areas generally As mentioned above, generally all public and staff areas should be accessible to people with disabilities, particularly those with sight or hearing impairments. * Other considerations are as follows (The Architects’ Handbook) * Customer services/reception – An informal and welcoming atmosphere is required, as this is the first major point of contact for new customers and where existing customers can resolve queries (e. g. about availability and overdue books); space is required for three staff (51m2).

Estimated peak daily level of registration updates is approximately 200; estimated peak level of enquiries, approximately 600. The area should allow for satisfactory queuing arrangements. The general layout requirements are for: a professional, inviting and efficient reception area; clear layout and instructions for customers; maximum flexibility in staff resources; suitable supervision of customers; and suitable staff security. * Internal circulation – The flow of people and materials (particularly the two-way flow of trolleys) should be made as easy as possible.

Note that circulation areas provide opportunities for vandalism and concealment of theft, and should therefore: be kept to a minimum; follow a logical route; allow visual control by staff (closed-circuit TV may be installed); allow segregation of staff and public areas; allow segregation to enable secure out- of-hours use to specified areas; and allow easy emergency evacuation. * Internal vertical circulation – This should be by lift and stairs, and possibly escalator.

Lifts should: allow movement of staff, books and materials to all floor levels; be linked with the book sorting office; provide public access to main lending floors; provide suitable access for out-of-hours use. No more than four lifts should be provided. Security generally The key considerations concern the control of access between staff and public areas (both during and outside opening hours), and prevention of theft. These issues can be addressed by: strategic location of staff enquiry points, with line-of- sight control; CCTV cameras; electronic book sensors at exit points; and security personnel.

* Trolleys – Allowance must be made for trolleys: for instance, by providing suitable protection to prevent damage to wall surfaces, adequate door widths, and suitable flooring (studded and ribbed flooring is not suitable). * Entry/access areas – One main entrance and two others are required, preferably separate: * Main entrance foyer/lobby: ( 190m2) should be clear and inviting, and be sufficiently spacious to cater both for visitors who have a specific destination and those who may wish to wander around.

* Public out-of-hours entrance: must provide a short and secure access route from the street to the meeting rooms etc. It could be combined with the main entrance, but a lift solely for out-of- hours use is not acceptable. * Staff/service entrance: to be a safe and secure area, particularly for staff leaving after dark. Queuing space should be allowed for 40 people to wait (at 0. 5 m2/person, 20m2 is required). * In-counters (51m2) – There will be one central counter for the whole building, after which customers will either move to other departments, move to customer reception, or leave.

Peak hourly levels of customers are approximately 250-300, with a peak hourly level of returns of approximately 1000 items. Space is required for three staff plus computer terminals for customers. The layout must allow for clear and direct flows. * Out-counters (38m2) – All items issued or renewed will be from the out-counter and there may be more than one, depending on overall layout. Note that some customers may wish to return to other areas of the library (e. g. the coffee bar) after visiting the out- counter. Peak levels are as for the in-counter. Space is required for two staff plus computer terminals for customers.

The layout must allow for clear and direct flows: in particular, customers not wishing to borrow items must be able to avoid becoming involved with this area. * Library returns bin – This is required in the entrance area for returns during times when the library is closed. It must be a secure unit. * Self-issue terminals – The space required is 3 m2/terminal and at least three terminals are required at various points in the library. * Smartcards – The inclusion of a ‘smartcard’ system is increasingly likely, to allow customers to pay for services (e. g. photocopying, overdue charges, borrowing videos, etc. ).

The machines will be located throughout the library. * Admin and staff accommodation – In addition to a general admin office space of roughly 53 m2, provision will also include the following. * Enquiry desks – These should ideally be located so that they can service more than one department at quiet times or during staff shortages. * Librarian’s office (20m2) – The base for the manager in charge of the whole building, the room must be close to the administrative support and interview rooms. Apart from everyday managerial tasks, the room will be used for small discussions with up to two people and project work.

* Library manager‘s office ( 13m2) – This includes one office for two assistants, shared desk, and also room for small meetings of one to three people. Privacy is necessary, although easy access/overview is required for counters and customer services. The office should be located near the branch library. * Delivery area (16m2) – There will be a daily ‘in’ delivery of boxes containing: books from this library, but returned to other libraries; books requested from other libraries; and new books. The ‘out’ delivery will be of books sorted in the sorting office, and books requested by other libraries.

This area will also act as a short-term reception and dispatch area for other equipment, furniture, exhibition equipment, etc. , and sufficient space should be allowed for this. * Interview room (14m2) – To be used by all staff for private meetings, appraisal interviews, meeting the public and recruitment interviews, the room must accommodate up to four people and ensure confidentiality is maintained. * Local studies reserve stack ( 150m2) – Most local studies stock will be reference only, in closed-access storage areas, obtained by staff on customer request: access systems therefore need to be quick and simple.

(Book stacks must be designed in accordance with BS 5454: 1989. ) A local studies workroom (38m2) will usually be required adjacent to the local studies area. * Reserve stacks (155m2) – Certain sections of stock will be housed in closed-access rolling stack storage, including: seasonal overflow (fewer items are borrowed during the summer and over Christmas); reference stock; music sets; play sets. The weight of rolling stack storage is substantial and will need to be taken into account in structural calculations. *

Secure area for exhibits – A secure storage area is ‘smartcard’ system is increasingly likely, to allow customers to pay for services (e. g. photocopying, overdue charges, borrowing videos, etc. ). The machines will be located throughout the library. * Admin and staff accommodation – In addition to a general admin office space of roughly 53 m2, provision will also include the following.

* Enquiry desks – These should ideally be located so that they can service more than one department at quiet times or during staff shortages. * Librarian’s office (20m2) – The base for the manager in charge of the whole building, the room must be close to the administrative support and interview rooms.

Apart from everyday managerial tasks, the room will be used for small discussions with up to two people and project work. * Library manager‘s office ( 13m2) – This includes one office for two assistants, shared desk, and also room for small meetings of one to three people. Privacy is necessary, although easy access/overview is required for counters and customer services. The office should be located near the branch library. * Delivery area (16m2) – There will be a daily ‘in’ delivery of boxes containing: books from this library, but returned to other libraries; books requested from other libraries; and new books.

The ‘out’ delivery will be of books sorted in the sorting office, and books requested by other libraries. This area will also act as a short-term reception and dispatch area for other equipment, furniture, exhibition equipment, etc. , and sufficient space should be allowed for this. * Interview room (14m2) – To be used by all staff for private meetings, appraisal interviews, meeting the public and recruitment interviews, the room must accommodate up to four people and ensure confidentiality is maintained.

* Local studies reserve stack ( 150m2) – Most local studies stock will be reference only, in closed-access storage areas, obtained by staff on customer request: access systems therefore need to be quick and simple. (Book stacks must be designed in accordance with BS 5454: 1989. ) A local studies workroom (38m2) will usually be required adjacent to the local studies area. * Reserve stacks (155m2) – Certain sections of stock will be housed in closed-access rolling stack storage, including: seasonal overflow (fewer items are borrowed during the summer and over Christmas); reference stock; music sets; play sets.

The weight of rolling stack storage is substantial and will need to be taken into account in structural calculations. * Secure area for exhibits – A secure storage area is required, with easy access to both the delivery area and the exhibition area. * Security control room (17m2) – This acts as the base for control attendants, and for the closed- circuit TV system. * Sorting office (63m2) – Required for sorting all returns.

The main divisions are: for return (by trolley) to the various departments; for return to other libraries; for special requests (e.g. customer reservations); and for particular processes (e. g. book repair). Wall shelving for 1000 items is required for temporary storage during peak flows or staff shortages. This area also acts as a supervisory area for the counters and the customer reception, allowing the easy allocation of additional staff when necessary and for general troubleshooting duties.

* Staff room (115m2) – With a total staff of approximately 50, the staff room should accommodate seating for 30 and also be suitable for relaxation, social gatherings and informal meetings.

During special events, staff will work outside normal working hours so there should be an adjacent kitchen area suitable for making light meals and drinks; a dishwasher may be desirable. Staff lockers (25m2) are ideally located in a separate room and storage for wet clothing is also required. * Stock workroom (127m2) – For four to five staff, its functions are: processing books from the delivery area; repairing stock; binding requirements; stock exchanges; inter-library loans for music sets. Wall shelving is required for approximately 2000 books.

* Subject staff workroom (152m2) – Required for processing complex enquiries and selecting new stock, these rooms are needed in humanities, literature and science libraries; for six librarians and support staff (maximum). Wall shelving will be required. * System room (38m2) – Needed to house computer equipment for library circulation and other information systems. * Training room (58m2) – Required for meetings and training sessions, facilities must be suitable for current technology and equipment. * Shelf storage Typical examples based on 900mm shelf module are:

adult non-fiction37 vols/900mm run of shelving adult fiction 30 sheet music 60 junior fiction 44 junior non-fiction 74 All shelving units should be four shelves high except: local studies 6 shelves high music scores 3 (overall height to be as four-shelf unit) children’s non-fiction ditto * Other areas * sick room (10m2) * stationery store (25m2) * general stores (four; approximately 1000m2 in total) * cleaners’ room/store (29m2) * WCs; shower if possible. * Preferred space standards, from the Follett Report, are: * one space for 6 full-time-equivalent students.

* 2. 39m2 per reader (subsequent research indicates that 2. 5-3. 0mZ may be required) * reader modules to be minimum of 900 x 600mm * information technology (IT) spaces to be 1200 x 800mm. * Building Services (The Architects’ Handbook) Heat reduction is a major problem, and is exacerbated by the use of computers. Air- conditioning is expensive and environmentally undesirable and should therefore only be used where essential, natural ventilation being the preferred option (traditional window ventilation, however, can be a security risk).

Service zones are required above ceilings and below floors: ventilation systems, heating and electrical fittings, and information technology units, must be designed to allow flexibility of layout, and must allow for movement of shelving without causing disruption. Distribution cabling for networked computer systems and terrestrial/satellite aerials also needs to be allowed for. Noise in libraries is a problem, both from external sources and between different activity areas within the building. Acoustic considerations must therefore be carefully considered.

* Maximum Floor Area Allowance per occupant (occupant load factor) from International Building Code Reading rooms 50 net Stack area 100 gross * The loading applies to stack room floors that support nonmobile, double- faced library book stacks, subject to the following limitations (International Building Code) * The nominal book stack unit height shall not exceed 90 inches * The nominal shelf depth shall not exceed 12 inches for each face * Parallel rows of double-faced book stacks shall be separated by aisles not less than 36 inches wide. References/s:

* TIME-SAVER STANDARDS FOR BUILDING TYPES 2nd edition, International Edition Edited by JOSEPH De CHIARA and JOHN HANCOCK CALLENDER 1983 by McGraw-Hill Book Co-Singapore 2nd printing 1987 * The Architects’ Handbook Edited by Quentin Pickard RIBA 2002 Blackwell Science Ltd * 2012 International Building Code First Printing: May 2011 Second Printing: June 2011 * http://readphilippines. com/Forum/viewtopic. php? f=33&t=74 * http://paarl. wikispaces. com/Libraries#Public%20Libraries * http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Library * http://web. nlp. gov. ph/nlp/.


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