There is no reason why library professionals should understand the mechanics of construction or the finer points of interior design yet - as the authors know well - they can be thrust into a world of architects’ briefs and alternative layouts, and be expected to make big decisions about library buildings. Right or wrong those decisions have an impact over decades. Whether remodeling existing premises or planning a brand new library, there is much to learn and consider.
Better by Design charts an easy-to-follow path to help the reader successfully through a makeover or new-build project - from beginning to end. Khan and Thebridge’s revised edition takes a fresh look at the topic through today’s eyes, within the context of current challenges.
The coronavirus pandemic, for example, has changed people’s attitudes towards public spaces and heightened awareness of the infection risks of interaction with others. Library design must accommodate these concerns. Making sure customers feel comfortable and safe is always a top priority.
Extreme weather events, at home and abroad, have focused public attention on climate change and the need to do what we can to mitigate its effects. Clearly this, too, has implications for the way we design and future-proof libraries. We need to be planning ‘greener’ and more sustainable buildings, and to modify existing structures to make them more energy-efficient, reduce their carbon footprint, and extend their lifespan.
The authors’ step-by-step guide and approachable style make this a ‘must read’ for students of architecture and design, as well as librarianship, and for practitioners involved in updating existing libraries or building new ones.