Library Design Roundtable

Compilation of Community Feedback

The Library hosted a Library Design Roundtable on Thursday, April 24. Participants provided comments on 8 major themes.

  • Children's Services
  • Teen Services
  • Adult Services
  • Services for People with Disabilities
  • D.C. and African American History
  • Mixed Use
  • Innovation & Technology
  • Cultural & Community Spaces

Adult Services


With regard to ADULTS, what makes you most excited about how things might change in the renovated MLK Library?
More instruction in how to access library’s electronic resources and downloadables.
Spaces that are designed to allow for instruction at different levels, different modes of learning.
It would be nice to have a convenience store/grocery/market stall/bodega in the library so that a library visit can have more than a single purpose. (other participant agreed)
 

  • Acoustics in main hall are difficult
  • There are so many library resources throughout D.C.  The branches are fabulous.  There are still underserved areas in D.C. without libraries, e.g., Dupont, Kalorama, Adams Morgan.  Will there be a way to better serve those areas?  Is that an area where the Central Library could serve?  Need to do outreach so people know that MLK is here. 
  • Ways to attract young professionals, perhaps through dating services?  Film collections, photography, exhibitions. 
  • Bookstore/café idea is popular, especially an independent bookstore.  P&P, Busboys and Poets, Barnes & Noble?    But who to staff?  Where is the funding for staff? 
  • Coffee shop/Tryst, satellite in Phillips.  That’s a good model. 
  • Separate staff area is great. 
  • Classes and skills -- places for people to learn without spending tons of money.  Adult Learning and Literacy.  Actual classes.  Cooper Union.  (open nights and weekend, with no tuition). 
  • ALRC not functional.  Needs to be re-examined and work better.  There really aren’t services.  We just direct people to resources (that are old). 
  • The openness of the library is the most striking thing about it for a first experience. 

 
 
Conferences with historical sighting renovation that the library has been able to help a lot and it promotes the history  of the D.C area and gives the D.C. area and its residents the ability to learn about their place and rights. Generally 300 people attend/with award. 25 speakers that speak throughout the event. This would be amazing for the auditorium space!
 
 

  • Evening Events, books discussion, integrating the library with local small businesses.
  • Quiet reading space
  • Roof Garden, with separate area for children
  • Space for research and reading
  • Spaces reserved for different library programing.
  • A café
  • WiFi in the basement
  • Acoustic analysis
  • Lighting for reading
  • Merge people that bring their own technology and people that do not
  • Using Linnex pushing new technology software
  • Checking out E readers providing a class for new users
  • Partnership with other Adult literacy organizations
  • Configuring the children space for usage in the evening.

 
What’s your biggest concern about ADULT SERVICES in the renovated library?
It’s off-putting to have to enter through security – less visible security in the new library.
Everything is going digital.
We have large groups of adults who are “stuck” in the library doing nothing constructive. There should be some way to guide them to various life skills training so they can change their lives.
 

  • Collection budget is under-par, with the result of a winnowing of the fiction and non-fiction.  Many classic books that aren’t popular have been winnowed.  Book budget needs to be improved. 
  • Many folks miss the card catalog, missing the thrill of the search!
  • Don’t want to lose the open stacks.
  • Need more accessible restrooms.

 
Taking unique public records that are in the archives museum and have the readily available.
 
 
One participant uses the library by placing books on hold online and does not use more of the library resources, but would like to use more. Happy with the technology, especially with the Library App. Branding the programing better and making the information more visible online and inside the branch. One participant did not even know there were evening programs at MLK.
 
If these services could be located near any other service area in the library, what would you prefer ADULT SERVICES to be located near?

  • Would like to see it right up front and on main floor.  Think it is most relevant section. 
  • Better signage, perhaps monitors that give you direction to where you want to go.
  • Near the Washingtoniana section

 
Materials that do not need a lot of natural light should be placed on a different floor for example the Digital Commons.
Public Mall, New entrance, Disability Access other than the elevator, first priority usage should be placed on the first floor. Better location for checking out books.
 
What’s the most important thing you want the architects and library staff working on the project to know about ADULT SERVICES as they plan the new library?

  • Better wayfinding, clarity on who to ask about different issues.
  • Plenty of study rooms and meeting spaces.
  • Better auditorium space for movie screening – and more comfortable seating in it.
  • Can we get a dropbox for US Mail? How about an exercise room?
  • Must have good air circulation.
  • Need more accessible restrooms.
  • Want light everywhere.
  • Conference use for big and small crowds. Classroom lay out rooms

 

Children's Services


With regard to CHILDREN’S SERVICES, what makes you most excited about how things might change in the renovated library?
Can kids and parents be given some kind of matching bracelets when they come into the library that would buzz if they move a certain distance apart (like 30 feet)
 

  • More colorful to the eye
  • Parents walk away – safe
  • Books by ages – fewer words for younger—pop up books
  • Place to sit on the floor
  • Technology with stories and story lines – with a facilitator
  • Make it brighter and more enticing especially for children
  • Make books attractive for children – colorful, playful.  Right now it feels like an office building.
  • Provide an atmosphere to encourage activities so that there is more participation.
  • More visibility that children’s section exists.  Too hidden. 

 
Parents seem to like the children’s space at MLK. One person is excited about architectural changes being made regarding the children’s space. Another is excited about possible sightlines for security, low bookcases, increase in size and incorporating different learning styles in the children’s room. Having people by the window, having children upstairs in the children’s room made since to one patron because of the homeless use of the library services. Another patron concurred about the children’s room being placed upstairs because of homelessness and patrons viewing adult material on the computers. A lot of concern was on security and possibly having separate entrance to the children’s room.
 
To get some information out to the public about the usage of the children’s space in comparison to other branches, a unique approach and a teaching element
 
Making them aware of the space, interactive furniture, storytelling area. They all agreed to the children’s room upstairs.
 
What’s your biggest concern about services for CHILDREN'S SERVICES in the renovated library?
A concern is what is the building going to be used for (programs) before a decision should be made on where the children’s room should be. Another concern is what is the building going to be used physically. Comment the library should not be used for any other purpose other than getting books and not housing and not recreational activities. 
 

  • Difficult to know where things are, whether children’s or adult’s or special collections are.  Lack of signage.
  • Will the building be energy efficient?  Challenge with historic nature of the building.

 
If children’s services could be located near any other service area in the library, what would you prefer to be located near?

  • Keep them away from the entrance/exits
  • Need accessibility to accommodate strollers, etc. 



Teen Services

 
With regard to TEEN SERVICES, what makes you most excited about how things might change in the renovated library?
 

  • Exposure to technology, more accessible, wifi access is important
  • Books that can relate to
  • Diversity of books – target something they would be interested; but guides to them to something educational wise
  • Generally not homework related in Teen Area –
  • Tie personal interest to something neat to learn
  • Touch screen for snapshot of books
  • Electronics – more than computers – to do whatever and for homework
  • Innovation on same floor feels right; good place to Beta test anything/everything –
  • Have them come play – so they can change the environment around them
  • Drawing picture on the walls – ask teens to do that
  • Space central to downtown, see kids hanging out, nice if they thought to come into the library, space where they want to come, congregate and be here – marketing it == place to hang out – funky, loungy part of the library
  • Tutoring area
  • Cool comfortable seating where people want to hang out
  • Mix furniture – study area with tables/chairs –plug in places
  • Lounge Area for different activities
  • Study – reads, goes back – thinks through & goes back to choose important
  • Transport on USB port
  • Get people to talk about themselves – place to express themselves/
  • Start raw – let the teens do the final design ideas
  • Different activities – for lectures, for activities – do they stay contained or move to another space
  • Balance between too much containment – but want them to be able to go out – everything close by versus
  • That a space could be made that would draw more in.

 
What’s your biggest concern about Services for TEENS in the renovated library?

  • Not intimidating
  • Location – inviting space – talking OK – fun place to spend time without intruding on others
  • Lower level – easy place to access – can come & go as you want’
  • Near innovation part of the building
  • Active floor
  • Active space & quiet space
  • That their main purpose for coming to the library is to learn and grow, not just another place to hang out.

 
If services for TEENS could be located near any other service area in the library, what would you prefer they to be located near?

  • Separation – teen hang out
  • Free flowing – lower floor could be – teens & innovation
  • Away from quieter parts of the library
  • They should be on the first floor so that public safety is nearby and can monitor behavior.
  • It should be totally separate from other areas – teens don’t want others to see them in the library. Maybe forget about a teen space in the new building and build a completely separate teen-only facility.
  • Put them near the new shiny equipment/tools/stuff.

 
What’s the most important thing you want the architects and library staff working on the project to know about Services for TEENS as they plan the new library?

  • Not many loose items – so things don’t move around
  • How to get downstairs now – all hidden – plan is to open up so you know how to go up or down --  activate by making stairs legible –
  • How do groups move – go through an active space to the Teen Area
  • Side door entrance so they can drift in without coming through main hallway
  • Needs to be visible & easy for everyone
  • Teens need a space where they can learn to grow and be self-sufficient (life skills) and how to relate to each other appropriately, be respectful, and make good choices.
  • They should be talking directly to teens, and to educators who work with teens, to learn what teens want/need from a library space.
  • How can teen resources and services be organized / displayed so that they can find the things they need / want? Maximize discovery.
  • Design that accounts for safety/security of teens and vice versa while allowing teens to be teens and not feeling like they are being watched/monitors.
  • There should be a separate engagement group for this process with just teens, so they can provide unfiltered input.

 

Services for People with Disabilities

With regard to Services for People with Disabilities, what makes you most excited about how things might change in the renovated library?
 

  • Transportation between floors – separate elevator so they don’t slow other people. Others agree
  • Bigger for more accessible for walkers and wheelchairs (even strollers)
  • Good for all elevators
  • Programming and things they can do that aren’t taught anywhere else.
  • A place to go for the disabled.
  • City Services access for the population
  • Taught how to use computer
  • Meeting rooms – great resource: both big and small

 
What’s your biggest concern about SERVICES FOR PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES in the renovated library?
 

  • Furniture, Flooring, Tripping Hazards - allowed for different ability of movement
  • Isolation of the group – don’t put them away from others…be a part of the rest of the community.  Blend with other spaces for adults.
  • Accommodations in all areas – including elevators
  • Staff available to help people with disabilities
  • Being able to ask for help no matter where you are in the library…bringing the librarian to them.
  • Computers for those with disabilities – technology and innovation for people with disabilities.
  • Publicize the information
  • Restroom facilities must meet ADA compliant – accessible
  • Safety in closed stairwells.

 
If these services could be located near any other service area in the library, what would you prefer SERVICES FOR PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES to be located near?

  • First floor – it would be the easier for use but also accessible
  • Want to be part of everything else.
  • All floors are accessible but the first floor for the department
  • Second floor is possible – but community can be very isolating so they should feel welcome and make the space location transparent.

 
What’s the most important thing you want the architects and library staff working on the project to know about SERVICES FOR PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES as they plan the new library?

  • All elevators should allow for many people to use them
  • Comfort and ease of use

 

 

D.C. History and African American History


With regard to space for DC History and African American History, what makes you most excited about how things might change in the renovated library?
 

  • Would like to see a permanent exhibit honoring Dr. King. 
  • Building an archives and program that focuses specifically on civil rights movement and race, e.g., lectures, research fellows, exhibits, etc. or even a non-profit within the Library funded by Carlyle Group.
  • More access via digitization, but then how do you get people to come to the Library?
  • Needs accessibility to collection – visual blurbs
  • Partnering with new African American Museum

 
The participants were excited about changes being made to the collection of the two departments. More exhibitions, more information about the history of African Americans in Washington, D.C. History preservation before gentrification, education expedition. George Washington University has an abundance, thousands of historical information, artifacts on Foggy Bottom.
 

  • Two native Washingtonians all are frequent users.
  • A history component should be focused on in regards to African Americans in Washington, D.C. For example emancipation day on April 16th.
  • Library should not combine the two rooms Black Studies and Washingtoniana agreed that African American’s in Washington, D.C. should be focused on.
  • A panoramic view of what is in the room.
  • Collection should be changed in Black Studies to only be about African American’s in Washington, D.C.
  • Washingtoniana should be about everyone and should start at 1776. The history should also include the history of the different wards.
  • Models of different buildings as well as models of the different communities example: What Foggy Bottom looked like in the past.
  • Emphasis not on the Federal City but on the communities. 
  • The current layout of the Washingtoniana should be located on a lower level because of the preservation. Suggested by one participant.
  • Different use of the height of space for the current location of the Washingtoniana.
  • Should not blend the two spaces.
  • Higher floors could be used to store artifacts, for example under the stairs.
  • Artifacts on display that you can touch, example digital television wall, historical speeches.

 
What’s your biggest concern about space for D.C. and African American History in the renovated library?
 

  • Special Collections often has to police the homeless population within Special Collections. 
  • What types of services does Library provide homeless?  Sidetracked by homeless discussion.
  • Needs to be expanded and hire more staff, e.g., a digital archivist

 
 
Washingtoniana and Black Studies does not look like a library, it is not inviting. For example the library still uses file cabinets. The two collections need to upgrade the way they store information. Putting more of the collection on the internet. Partnering with other organizations to use our collection in other ways.
 
If space for D.C. and African American History could be located near any other service area in the library, what would you prefer it to be located near?

  • DC Archives should be located here; combine with Washingtoniana.  Difficult challenge between records and people. 
  • A caution about housing another archive – would require more space and staff.  Perhaps Washingtoniana could hire staff to be the point person for where other archives are located.  Needs more skilled archival staff.

What’s the most important thing you want the architects and library staff working on the project to know about space D.C. and African American History as they plan the new library?
How will the staff of Special Collections will be involved in decision making process?   John spoke a bit about the focus groups with staff. 
 
 

Mixed Use Approach

With regard to the notion of a MIXED USE SPACE, what makes you most excited about how things might change in the renovated library?
 

  • Good idea that the facilities have mixed use. Would rather have another organization to use other facilities such as a community college. Is it private public? Such array of diverse use of space that could be used more efficiently if institutions with a similar goals and values (education) as the library would be great.
  • The libraries in Europe offer you the ability to relax. At the US not so much which makes it a sick system, not sleep but innovative in terms of public space that allows things like relaxation to happen like in Europe. It doesn’t include the people who want to relax.
  • Different ways to think about Mixed Use. Could the library be sectioned more so that the uses are more divided for the library to separate those uses.
    • We need a bigger library, with unique use. Look at this building as a library and see wat services have to be provided, bring the archives in and bring more information. It would make the library a good institution. The Archives are a different institution but also provides access to information.  (Agree) but the Archives have some money that is put on the side but what if the archives don’t want to come? (they should be made to come) If we can get the archives that belong to DC and not the federal government it would enrich and let us preserve the archives.
    • There is no controversy about the building system being replace. Mixed use means: the physical component, the preservation aspects, philosophical public private and the idea of bringing commercial interest within the envelope of the building.
  • On the Café: other people would prefer an actual coffee spot than the one that will be in the Library so instead make this building to be able to use our conference.
    • The way the structure of the building can only handle 2 more floors: We don’t know. There are a lot of things about the building that was stated when the building was created it was very different and the fundamental structure of the building is over designed for what this building it can do. Expansion up is possible. 
    • Concerning all the different entrances: people get lost but we kind of like it, however we like the liberty access. The idea was the concept of having a home with a basement with a different apt. complex.
    • More comfortable if the public could have access to all of the building (Agree)
  • Is that to preserve this property as a public property. It will all be public use to the community as opposed to a school
    • An idea to build on and keep the flow and access of information such as a café which will allow people to stay longer because they don t get hungry. Despite of the things that are not strictly library related things (such as the café) we have a lot of services that work /are popular such as tax services. It would be great if you could
  • Libraries have merged with park and rec center? How do you feel about that; this is the main library, if we are a library lets be a library.
  • But the integration of the garden is welcomed because it gives it the human experience: it’s your books and your space. It’s safe.
    • Let’s say that the library opens in two floors in which it can serve all the public what would you need?
  • Yoga and meditation space, something beautiful and peaceful. Hight limitation of DC, if the library doesn’t need the additional floors to fulfill it mission then create more floors to have other institutions (housing) to promote the mission of the library. Micro housing to let people live DT and not need to travel, put the building to use in a look that compliments the building and give it an extra use. Not public housing but micro housing.
  • Main issues are control and a complimentary mix use of it.
  • What’s your biggest concern about Mixed Use in the renovated library?
  • One participant wants to know why the library needs a Public, Private partnership?
  • One participant believes public, private partnership is a bad idea and that the library should remain a grandfather building. It is pricing out long term and native Washingtonians. Provide more information why do I want something.
  • One participant agrees with the public, private partnership but worries about the legality. Believes that they should have control over the tenants. It provides a measure of security because they have an invested interest in the building. The control over the arrangement but also the purpose of it.
  • One participant believes giving up municipal control is a bad idea. Housing and commercial space is not the proper use for a library.
  • The library should partnership with other public agencies.
  • There needs to be clarity on what we are doing and synergy. 
  • One participant believes there should only be a public, public partnership.
  • Important to distinguish between mixed use and private partnerships. The library is already mixed use. Private entity owning part of the building is public, private partnership. One participant believes giving up municipal control is a bad idea. However, public, partnership is a good idea for example the bike share.
  • The library should be used as residential housing for low income residents who are willing to live in smaller apartments.
  • Workforce housing should be considered for mix use of the library
  • A times contract for artists
  • There should not be residential housing because there is potential for them to not leave if our needs change.

 
In your opinion, is MIXED USE for this facility a good idea, a bad idea, or do you not have an opinion?

  • Good idea – non-profit – pay rent here – come for events & use the library – likes the people is good
  • Tricky – may end up with something more like Union Station – each option has a different vibe
  • Business incubator
  • Would add income to the library
  • Brings people together – brings money for innovation
  • Not good a good idea – going to break the spirit of the library – it is already changed – shopping mall is not a good thing – people walking through to go to their condos is a good thing – keeping it just as a library – not a coffee shop
  • What if there is a separate entrance such as the Newseum – if physically, mentally divided it would not registered as mixed-use –
  • It would create a class – a penthouse that we cannot go to – a class divide
  • An office would do the same thing – feel it is “not for me”
  • If it was not public – then it is not good – you do not have access to it.  Enough spaces in DC like
  • Go to the Starbucks – instead of crossing the street if it is here – then use the library – keeps people here closer – do not interfere with the space but make it convenient
  • Recently the Great Hall – is used for many things – generic space – people can use as they like
  • What is the mixed use – restaurant or something else – for convenience – saurna as part of the mixed used
  • Garden canopy for quiet reading
  • Dogs up to the roof – don’t forget the dog people

 

Technology & Innovation


With regard to Innovation/Technology, what makes you most excited about how things might change in the renovated library?

  • PSA – media information about libraries
  • Computer lessons
  • Drop in clinics (nods from the group) -  ipods & Kindles
  • Technical support and services to encourage people to come and use the library
  • Job training – additional comments on this area (how to use it and ethics)
  • Taxes
  • Complete collection be digitized online
  • Branches be networked with central branch – communication
  • Increasing number of Macs and PCs in small labs
  • Outreach to tech base and new businesses
  • Access for the newest technologies – example digital collections
  • Teaching and Learning – Live television feeds – agreed by others in the group
  • Downloading books for return
  • Space for friends of the library – book sales, meet and greet, store

 
Hope to walk in and see something unexpected (theater, plants, earth, art, textiles)
Make it convenient for men to survive and be able to provide for their families – men are the most important beings on earth. (Other participant added “teach people how to code”)
 

  • The ability access the internet more easy and make it easy. Sign up to take your internet from the library to home- that‘s pretty exciting. It’s essential but not assume that everyone know what to do. Keep an ongoing training session for staff or patrons. One on One and class set ups
  • 3D Printer! Things that as a small business and kids/teens can really take advantages. It should not be a “new “ thing it’s more like a continuum. The ability to capture the speaker of conferences and broadcast it/Stream so that the goods of the library is shared across the country/world.
  • We do have a recording studio for teens adults could benefit for those who want to create music or a conference etc… 
  • Why are other libraries (NY, Boston) more talked about than the one in DC? Because we  are caught between technology and books
  • Comfortable – place to sit to use it –
  • Some lounge seating in this area
  • Forum area for groups to have conversations and learning
  • Technology for play
  • Continuing with what was started at Digital Commons – qualities up to date – very efficient – can use time efficiency
  • Smart boards are not being used
  • Special floor for it – a space all together to for people to use – access for people with disabilities
  • Already on the forefront – need to let people know about it
  • Power outlets need to be available – a space to have it everywhere for laptops – power on the tables – wifi service – bring your own place
  • Downstairs lab is exciting idea
  • This designed in the 60s when they did not think about it
  • Solar as a power source
  • Projected spaced outdoor – place ot be free and loose and not confined
  • Outdoor element as a place of leasure – place for projections
  • Children should have their own technology;
  • Children can teach adults
  • Games with digital boards that can change from day to day
  • Place to learn innovation
  • First floor is the most serious –
  • Accessibility for first floor
  • Computer room can be anywhere – not a specific space
  • Innovation on the lower lever
  • Read outside
  • Need a quiet space as well as
  • Sauna on the roof – retractable roof
  • Biotechnology program like in high school – yogurt under a microscope as example for learning
  • Historical beginning – words, letters, handwriting, typesetting, ability to learn about those types of things – innovative in a backwards space
  • Wall where people can write on a digital wall – graffiti

 
What’s your biggest concern about INNOVATION & TECHNOLOGY in the renovated library?
 

  • Divide between digital and paper collection – how will that look in the future.
  • Division between technology and quiet area – others agree
  • Too Many commercials on the internet
  • Different spaces for children and adults
  • Soft chairs and less hard surfaces (helps with acoustics)

 
Technology is scary to me already, can’t imagine what it’ll be like in 5-15 years.
Where will people park?
 

  • To be able to reach to several diverse groups with the same technology, can’t leave people who have/have not and have the library step into that gap and make it “less” and stop.
  • People came to the US to educate themselves and people used to go to the library to learn. People who are older may not feel like the library is a “safe space” and let everyone educate themselves.
  • Technology seems to be more for Teens and Twenty year olds. Learning is slower for older people not impossible. The problem is that you do want technology but you don’t want to overwhelm people and make it more welcoming.
  • We don t have a very organic library.
  • Technology gets dates
  • Still a place to read
  • Place that is quiet
  • Noisy wins out – if it is supposed to be quiet it needs to be enforced

 
If these services could be located near any other service area in the library, what would you prefer to be located near?

  • What needs to be on this first floor, accessibility features for first floor. 
  • Doesn’t need to be on the first floor
  • Natural light interference with using computers
  • Draw in off the street
  • Adults would rather be on the first floor.  Keep children away from the adults and teens away from children. Separation is a good idea.
  • Stairs to other floors need to be considered, more open space.
  • Transparency in the building throughout. (agreed by the entire group)
  • Look at the Newseum, it’s everywhere/embedded in everything and staff are excited about it.

 
No strong feelings, it just needs to be publicized. It should be dispersed  throughout the building and shouldn’t be only in the first floor so that all the machines and technology doesn’t hit you in the face. It should be integrated and incorporated (like a kitchen sink) this library is our chance to make it a Big Bang.
 
What’s the most important thing you want the architects and library staff working on the project to know about INNOVATION & TECHNOLOGY as they plan the new library?

  • Comfort
  • Information
  • Décor – colors
  • Quick space for those in and out and slow down space for those who want it.
  • Express service
  • Transparency – signage, encouraging user to go upstairs, want to explore open levels, interactive map, as you first walk in, (everyone added thoughts to this area)
  • Multiple ways to inform the public.
  • The building needs art and color. Use water (see Swedish Embassy).
  • How can architecture help improve lives?
  • What will make people smile when they walk in and have them leave with a smile.
  • The building is so stark and cold, need to find a way to warm it up with living things.
  • This is the one chance to make it big!
  • More trainings  space that is geared to a room of no more than 20 people to maintain it
  • Example:  Building with the blue lights  – touch columns and make noises – something interactive
  • Look at what will be there – who will be there – everyone wants to learn – young and old – big room for everyone – disabilities blind/in wheel chairs/accessibility – what time of technology
  • Do something never done before – if you dreamed about it, do it
  • Think about creativity of individuals – people can choose what they want to do – example – make a puzzle
  • Excited after seeing the concept model
  • Deaf – unique for each within the innovation center
  • More lively – current building feels like an office – looked at the lighting in this room
  • Blind people – not a good space now – better to attract to them --

 

Cultural & Community Spaces


With regard to Cultural & Community Spaces, what makes you most excited about how things might change in the renovated library?

  • Weddings and Funerals
  • Food – Chili Cook Off (kitchen in meeting room)
  • Theater & Stage
  • Coffee Shop
  • Meeting room that had comfy chairs – “living room” space for book groups
  • Regarded as great meeting space – “meet up” space.  “This is the City”
  • Sense of peace in some places
  • Sense of fun in some places
  • Everyone knows about it
  • Place for lonely people
  • Concert Space -  regular concert
  • Entertained by Professionals of different types:  chef, flower arrangement,
  • Show products
  • Demo products
  • Health and Wellness
  • Space to dance or do music – specifically children
  • Bring people in to the library.
  • Exhibits can attract new people
  • Needs appropriate spaces for fundraising
  • Acoustics need to be addressed
  • Spaces beyond the Great Hall  for groups
  • Similar to the Portrait Museum Interior atrium that could be rented out. 
  • Multi-use spaces – lecture hall/theatrical
  • More meeting rooms (50+) but also below 50  a variety.
  • Performance spaces
  • Exhibition spaces
  • Excited about current activities that library offers
  • Great to offer more programs for after work; and brown bag lunches
  • This space has become more public; one patron stated he uses the digital commons often

 
What’s your biggest concern about CULTURAL & COMMUNITY SPACES in the renovated library? 

Great Demand – strong policy

  • Possible request for donations to use spaces
  • If space is conducive to different activities then all should be away
  • Money
  • How to translate meetings into library users.
  • Important to have good management and strong leadership
  • Soundproofing of meeting spaces
  • Policy transparency
  • Patience and good planning
  • Underground community spaces do not work. Too claustrophobic.
  • Acoustics, acoustics, acoustics!
  • Ventilation is important!
  • Must have natural light if possible
  • Insufficient IT capabilities
  • No public parking
  • Archives in basement need additional proper storage
  • If auditorium is upstairs, how would you handle a large group of people arriving at the last minute trying to the use one elevator? Or a large group leaving at once?
  • How can we find out about more programs? One patron was not aware of all the programs that occur in a given day
  • Meeting spaces – consider renaming to community spaces; consider how we advertise the community space
  • Sometimes there are safety concerns; sometimes the library feels like a halfway house; understands that there is a challenge for the library to deal with concerning the changing nature of library
  • Appreciates the access to technology
  • Be great to consider a café
  • Challenge for library to bring all types of people to together

 
If these services could be located near any other service area in the library, what would you prefer CULTURAL & COMMUNITY SPACES to be located near?

  • Move rooms up out of the basement
  • Glass walls for meeting rooms
  • Meeting space on Each Floor and look out over other departments or out the windows.
  • Concern about possibility of auditorium located upstairs
  • Movement in this building is not clear
  • Think about programming throughout the library; consider the program and what location would be appropriate, e.g. the café may be good for a book discussion
  • Think digital commons is an example of flexible space
  • Commended the cutting edge technology; Digital commons is very efficient!
  • Looks forward to the possibilities for the library – performance space and auditorium
  • Consider a program at one library but make it accessible to all libraries

 
What’s the most important thing you want the architects and library staff working on the project to know about CULTURAL & COMMUNITY SPACES as they plan the new library?

  • Need flexible spaces
  • How to deal with the lighting  -- save the Mies lighting, but make it not so harsh.  Keep the Modernism.
  • Be flexible – create space that can be flexible; don’t nail things down so tightly that you can’t change it
  • Have fun, explore and push the boundaries
  • Come to library and hang-out all day
  • Will there be outdoor space – great to have programs there
  • Challenge to deal with population that needs social services; leads to challenge to make the library inviting for all populations
  • Increase the awareness the libraries programs