Kommentare Abstract
2018/4 Bauen und Bauten

Designing Libraries: An international resource for designing modern library and learning spaces

Kommentare Abstract

Created originally as a government sponsored initiative in the UK, Designing Libraries is now an independent community interest company with an international perspective and a worldwide readership, freely accessible.

Designing Libraries is at www.designinglibraries.org.uk. Take a look around. It started life as part of a government initiative to address the problem of aging library building stock no longer fit for purpose (many libraries go back to the 19th century, and some of the worst were built in the 1960s). The first step was to create a Library Projects database to illustrate good practice that would help guide others. As time goes by of course, what was considered good practice a few years ago is now historical practice. The website has had to reinvent itself – almost as an illustrated magazine – to stay timely and relevant.

So what do we do? Designing Libraries continues to keep a library of resources – online articles, books, websites – to help anyone seeking information about library buildings, spaces and their design and furnishing. Our audience includes architects and planners as well as librarians and learning resource managers. We also feature profiles of major libraries in Europe and the wider world, and report on trends and new projects in our news pages and our monthly newsletter (which you can sign up to on the home page). So as well as being a permanent record of resources and projects, we are a lively repository of the latest news and views on library design. How are public library spaces evolving to become community hubs, cultural and creative spaces? How do new ways of teaching and learning influence the design of university libraries and learning spaces? How do physical library spaces relate to digital resources and emerging technologies? 

The Word, South Shields, UK. (Photo copyright Hufton+Crow)

All these questions are vital to ensuring that libraries have an enduring future. Traditional views of a library are hard to displace, yet the way we access information and the ways in which we communicate are changing fast. The ‘model’ for libraries has to change too, or we will keep on reinventing the past instead of working to meet the changing needs of society and the communities we serve. Designing Libraries plays a key role in that process by acting as a showcase illustrating how those changes are being planned and implemented.

Here are a few links to some examples of the more than 1500 pages of information on the site (all keyword searchable).

From the section: Library Projectsthe database entry for the University Roehampton.

From the section: Featured Libraries: Hub Kerkrade. How can a library, a theatre and other cultural partners exist together successfully under one roof? First, by breaking down partition walls...

From the video gallery: EPFL Rolex Learning Centre, Lausanne. The design thinking behind the curved library building.

From our news pages: The world's best new library 2018. School 7 public library in the city of Den Helder, Netherlands, wins the 2018 award for Public Library of the Year.

All the resources on the site are free. To keep up to date we rely on many news feeds and contributions from librarians, architects and design thinkers. If you know of projects that should be featured, or resources that would be useful, please get in touch.

Lindley David 2018

David Lindley

Director Designing Libraries: the Centre for Library Design and Innovation.


Designing Libraries (www.designinglibraries.org.uk) is a freely accessible online resource for anyone interested in library design, library spaces and buildings, and how libraries are evolving and adapting to social change and new technologies.

Designing Libraries (www.designinglibraries.org.uk) ist eine frei zugängliche Online Plattform für alle, die sich für Bibliothekssdesign und Bibliotheksräume und -bauten interessieren. Ebenso zeigt Designing Libraries auf, wie Bibliotheken sich entwickeln und mit dem gesellschaftlichen Wandel und neue Technologien umgehen.

Designing Libraries (www.designinglibraries.org.uk) est une ressource en ligne, librement accessible à tout le monde qui s'intéresse à la conception, aux espaces et aux bâtiments de bibliothèques et qui veut savoir comment les bibliothèques évoluent et s’adaptent au changement social et aux nouvelles technologies.