Better by Design

Dec 2008 | 224pp

Price: £64.95
CILIP members price: £51.95

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Better by Design
An introduction to planning and designing a new library building

Ayub Khan

Libraries today are faced with rapidly shifting populations of users with differing needs, who require a range of new communications links that are transforming our concept of the library space. This developing role has created a set of new and complex challenges for those delivering library services.
There is no such thing as the 'perfect' library building. However, a well designed building will enable a project both to gain local acceptance more easily and to ease the process of securing planning permission. It also needs to be cost effective to run, support the organization's objectives well, offer an improved service to the user and make an impact on the community.
This much-needed book takes as its starting point the fact that few architects know very much about libraries, and fewer librarians know about architectural planning and designing. It steers a clear path for library managers through the language and processes that they need to understand as members of a team overseeing the planning of a new library building project, major refurbishment or remodelling of an existing library. Key topics include:
  • twenty-first century libraries
  • developing a business case
  • project management
  • the design/project team
  • selecting an architect
  • partnership and community engagement
  • the design brief
  • design quality
  • space planning and access
  • occupancy and post-occupancy evaluation
  • building libraries for the future.  
Appendices offer top tips and checklists, together with a glossary of common terms used within the construction environment to help further de-mystify the design process for librarians.
Readership: This practical and accessible book is an invaluable guide not only for new entrants to the library profession, but also for experienced practitioners who are approaching for the first time the important task of creating a new library or major refurbishment of existing facilities. It will also be of great relevance to architects unfamiliar with library building requirements.

1. Introduction 
2. 21st-century libraries 
  • Recent library developments 
  • Planning for now and the future 
  • Planning for leaner times 
  • Common elements of new library buildings   
3. Developing a business case 
  • Content 
  • Information sources 
  • Ensuring success 
  • Risk analysis   
4. Project management
  • Definition 
  • Stages in a project 
  • Management of risk 
  • Balance of cost, quality and time 
  • Time management 
  • Project management techniques
  • Managing change 
  • Managing the process – key issues   
5. The design/project team 
  • Team roles 
  • Strong leadership 
  • Team activities   
6. Selecting an architect 
  • General guidelines 
  • Design competition 
  • Criteria for architectural selection 
  • Identifying the services needed 
  • Project specification 
  • Procurement processes    
7. Partnership and community engagement 
  • Partnership approaches 
  • Funding opportunities 
  • Consultation 
  • Community engagement 
  • Dual-use libraries   
8. The design brief 
  • Functions of the brief 
  • Core elements 
  • Outcome-based approach 
  • Stages of development 
  • Statement of aims 
  • The outline brief 
  • The detailed brief 
  • Flexibility and adaptability 
  • Amending the brief   
9. Design quality
  • Urban design
  • Life expectancy of different functions of the building 
  • Site selection 
  • Building design 
  • Environmental considerations 
  • Security 
  • Interior design 
  • Ambience 
  • Fixtures and fittings 
  • Book stacks 
  • ICT facilities 
  • Study tables 
  • Floor coverings 
  • Maintenance   
10. Space planning and access 
  • Common adjacencies 
  • Space requirements 
  • Population and use data 
  • Types of space 
  • Design for accessibility 
  • The Disability Discrimination Act 1995 
  • The physical environment 
  • Impact 
  • Kits of parts   
11. Occupancy and post-occupancy evaluation 
  • Handover
  • Moving in 
  • Evaluation 
  • Monitoring energy consumption   
12. Building libraries for the future – a summary 
  • Bibliography and further reading 
  • Texts 
  • Websites   
  • Appendix 1 Glossary (including common terms used within the construction/building environment)
  • Appendix 2 Ambience – discussion checklist for librarians and architects
  • Appendix 3 Top ten tips
  • Appendix 4 Space adjacencies diagram

"This is a very well done book and certainly up to date with the challenges facing library managers in the twenty-first century…For as much detail as the book covers – it is an easy, quick read and a reference book for space design projects for the future."
- Library Management


"Librarians from all sectors will find this a very useful introductory guide to help them get to grips with the complexities of delivering a successful outcome to a library building or refurbishment project."
- Designing Libraries Newsletter


"It is pleasing to note that the author has drawn on, and acknowledged, the IFLA Library Building Guidelines throughout the book and the two complementary publications should provide the library professional setting out on the task of planning a new library building for the first time with invaluable information and guidance."

- IFLA Library Building and Equioment Section Newsletter

Ayub Khan BA(Hons) FCLIP is Head of Library and Information Services (Strategy) for Warwickshire County Council, UK. His previous role was that of Principal Project Officer (Library of Birmingham), working on plans to create a new state-of-the-art city library.

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