NCEF Resource List: Library Facilities Design --Higher Education
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Information on the planning, design, construction, and operation of libraries in higher education institutions, compiled by the National Clearinghouse for Educational Facilities.

References to Books and Other Media

Academic Libraries: 2010 First Look. Adobe PDF
(U.S. Department of Education. National Center for Education Statistics, Dec 2011)
Summarizes services, staff, collections, and expenditures of academic libraries in 2- and 4-year, degree-granting postsecondary institutions in the 50 states and the District of Columbia. 59p

Berkeley School of Law Library / Ratcliff
King, Victoria
(Arch Daily, Nov 09, 2011)
Description and photographs of the new 55,000 GSF South Addition to the University of California Berkeley School of Law and Library. Project includes relocation and expansion of the library collections, reconfiguration of circulation systems, and creation of library’s new point of entry along with open spaces for social gathering as well as renovation of the 17 existing outdated classrooms.

The Joe and Rika Mansueto Library: How It Works.
(University of Chicago , May 2011)
The new Joe and Rika Mansueto Library at the University of Chicago houses cutting-edge facilities for preservation and digitization of physical books, as well as a high-density underground storage system with the capacity to hold 3.5 million volume equivalents. With its soaring elliptical dome and prime location on campus, the Mansueto Library’s Grand Reading Room, provides an inviting space for rigorous scholarship in an array of fields.

Library Security Guidelines. Adobe PDF
(Library Administration and Management Association, Security Guidelines Subcommittee of the Buildings and Equipment Section, Safety & Security of Library Buildings Committee, Chicago, IL , Jun 27, 2010)
These guidelines include an introduction and definitions, and sections covering the following topics: 1. Duty to Protect; 2.Foreseeability of Loss; 3. Adequacy of Protection; 4.Fire and Emergency Protection; 5.Physical Barrier and Lock and Key Security; 6. Security Duties and Security Staff; 7. Personal Access and Parcel Control; 8. Security Alarms and Electronics and 9. Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design. 29p.

Designing Libraries: Gateway to Better Library Design. The Resource for Library Planning, Design & Building.
(University of Wales Aberystwyth, UK , 2010)
This website provides links to primarily British information on the following topics: architecture and library building databases; awards and prizes; built environment; energy efficiency & sustainable building design; funding; furniture and equipment; furniture suppliers; health, safety, accessibility and security; interior design; libraries; planning, design and construction; preservation and conservation; signs; and technology.

The Once and Future Library. Adobe PDF
(Herman Miller Inc., Zeeland, MI , 2010)
Discusses the evolution of libraries away from information storage toward areas of collaboration. New expectations, types of spaces, experience, and problems are addressed, as are the interdisciplinary collaboration, and the diminishing role of the book along with its traditional library services. 13 references are included. 11p.

References to Journal Articles

New Landmark Libraries 2012: Academic Library Winners and Honorable Mentions
Schaper, Louise
Library Journal; Jun 28, 2012
List of iconic academic library buildings, the 2012 New Landmark Library Winners, includes; 1. Goucher Athenaeum, Goucher College, Baltimore. Architect: RMJM/Hillier 2. Berkeley Law Library, University of California. Architect: Ratcliff Architects 3. William Oxley Thompson Memorial Library, Ohio State University, Columbus. Architect: Acock Associates Architects 4. South Mountain Community Library, Phoenix. Architect: richärd+bauer architecture 5. Lemieux Library and McGoldrick Learning Commons, Seattle University. Architect: Pfeiffer Partners Architects, Inc.

Designing an Academic Library as a Place and a Space
Bostwick, Sharon L.; Irwin, Bryan
Educational Facility Planner; v46 n1 , p8-12 ; Jun 2012
Describes the expansion and renovation project for the library at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, including a robotic storage system.

Four More Trends in Higher-Education Facilities
Fabris, Peter
Building Design + Construction; May 2012
Examines trends in college buildings focusing on new classroom designs, flexible space, collaboration areas, and the evolving role of the university library.

Colorado State’s 24-hour Study Cube Opens on Campus
Simmons, Kate
Rocky Mountain Collegian; Apr 28, 2012
Describes a 24/7 study space for students on the campus of Colorado State University, that is part of a $16.8 million library renovation project. The Study Cube has flexible furniture, solar panels, and wireless internet. Photometric glass allows the windows to darken according to the light levels outside.

Student Center is Catalyst for Sustainability at Central New Mexico Community College
Lichtenberger, Steven
School Construction News; , p17-18 ; Mar 2012
Describes new student center and library on the main campus of Albuquerque's community college that contains a variety of sustainable features and student-oriented spaces.

KAUST Academic Library
Architype Source; Feb 2012
Photographs, description, and credits for the 140,000-square-foot King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) Academic Library in Thuwal, Saudi Arabia, designed by HOK. KAUST was certified as the largest LEED Platinum project in the world. The library design de-emphasizes the library as a repository of books while emphasizing the social dimensions of learning and access to knowledge through technology.

Changes in Academic Library Space: A Case Study at the University of New South Wales
Bailin, Kylie
Australian Academic & Research Libraries; v42 n4 , p342-359 ; Dec 2011
As the digital environment continues to become more pervasive in our lives, academic libraries have had to adapt to ensure that services remain relevant to users' needs. Research was conducted to examine the 2009-2011 refurbishment at the University of New South Wales (UNSW) Library and evaluate its success in meeting users' needs in terms of space and place, while also suggesting areas for improvement. The investigation used structured interviews to gauge students' satisfaction with the Library's space and/or facilities. Findings are explored under the following themes: collaborative study; individual study; spatial design; social space; technology; noise levels; and Help Zone. This research shows that users still require a physical space, and that the Library is highly valued as a place to congregate and study as it offers a welcoming and well designed environment with modern facilities. [Author's abstract]

Graduate Student Space and Service Needs: A Recommendation for a Cross-Campus Solution
Rempel, Hannah Gascho; Hussong-Christian, Uta; Mellinger, Margaret
Journal of Academic Librarianship; v37 n6 , p480-487 ; Dec 2011
Focus group methodology was used to investigate graduate students' cross-campus technology, space and service needs. Although the library provides valued services and spaces, graduate students need enhanced and more equitable support for their roles as teachers and scholars. Librarians can provide leadership and act as advocates for graduate student needs in partnership with other campus stakeholders.

Facility Focus: Libraries/Learning Commons.
College Planning and Management; v14 n7 , p64,65 ; Jul 2011
Profiles library renovations and additions at Ohio State University and Atlanta University. Expanded user spaces and hours have established these libraries as campus social as well as knowledge centers.

William Oxley Thompson Memorial Library.
Architectural Record; Mar 2011
Profiles this Ohio State University library addition, which unites and harmonizes three buildings, including the original 1913 Beaux Arts style library.

Library Design Showcase 2011
Landgraf, Greg
American Libraries; Mar 2011
Profiles the 2011 American Library Association Library Design Showcase winners, including libraries at the University of Wyoming, University of Akron, Seattle University, Marquette University, Virginia School for the Deaf and Blind, and Robert F. Kennedy Community Schools in Los Angeles. Discusses the award winners within the context of enhanced functionality, choice of construction materials, sustainable construction, navigation and color, children's spaces, renovations, design details, outdoor connections, and community living rooms.

Musashino Art University Museum and Library, Tokyo
Pollock, Naomi
Architectural Record; v199 n3 , p60-67 ; Mar 2011
Profiles this library consisting of concentric rings of bookshelves, with breaks to improve views and assist in wayfinding.

Case Study: California State University Library.
Vigue, Beverly
Doors and Hardware; v75 n3 , p20-22 ; Mar 2011
Profiles this higher education library in Monterrey, focusing on the sophisticated access control and fire protection system of a building that includes classrooms, library stacks, and social areas.

A Truly Bookless Library.
Kolowich, Steve
Education Digest; v76 n5 , p35-36 ; Jan 2011
This article discusses the fact that more and more libraries are devoting less space to printed books, and are thus reimagining the physical space of the library. Profiles the University of Texas at San Antonio’s Applied Engineering and Technology Library.

Spinning Straw into Gold: A Community College Library's Twenty First Century Transformation.
McKay, Devin
Community & Junior College Libraries; v17 n1 , p1-6 ; 2011
This article describes a library renovation project in a community college that involved using existing space and reorganizing it to support the way students learn both individually and collaboratively. The article also looks at the importance of the academic library as place.

Studying Space: Improving Space Planning with User Studies.
Pierard, Cindy; Lee, Norice
Journal of Access Services; v8 n4 , p190-207 ; 2011
How can libraries best assess and improve user space, even if they are not in a position to undertake new construction or a major renovation? Staff at New Mexico State University used a variety of ethnographic methods to learn how our spaces were being used as well as what our users considered to be ideal library space. Our findings helped us make high-impact changes to public spaces while staying within a modest budget and a tight timeline. We used many of the same methods after our redesigns to evaluate our efforts and plan for future improvements. [Authors' abstract]

Fire Plans.
Power, June
Journal of Access Services; v8 n1 , p37-41 ; Jan 2011
Many libraries have disaster recovery plans, but not all have prevention and action plans to prepare for an emergency in advance. This article presents the author's review of the prevention and action plans of several libraries: (1) Evergreen State College; (2) Interlochen Public Library; (3) University of Maryland, Baltimore-Marshall Law Library; (4) University of North Carolina Wilmington Randall Library; (5) Vanderbilt Central Library; (6) Bay County Library System; (7) Wayne State Universities Library; (8) Central University Libraries-Fondren Library Center; and (9) University of Southampton.

Case Study Revisit: Loyal University Information Commons.
Green Source; v5 n6 , p103 ; Nov-Dec 2010
Offers a commissioning review of this notable building. The highly-glazed facility presented problems with automated operable window actuators and gaskets, and some of the 300 original desktop computers have been removed, since most students bring laptops, and the desktops were on all the time, creating significant plug loads. Nonetheless, the building has proved to be the most students' favorite building on campus.

Down the Hatch.
Schaffhauser, Dian
Campus Technology; v24 n3 , p24-29 ; Nov 2010
Discusses a trend toward moving higher education library IT services into the university-wide IT functions. While this is typically done for budgetary reasons, librarians fear losing control over their IT services and their ability to respond quickly to patron needs. Advantages and disadvantages of consolidation are discussed.

Libraries/Media Centers.
American School and University; v82 n13 , p100-106 ; Aug 2010
Profiles seven winning library and media center projects in the 2010 American School and University Magazine Education Interiors Showcase. Photographs and project statistics accompany a brief description of each project.

Embracing Change.
Tennity, Mike
American School and University; v82 n13 , p130-133 ; Aug 2010
Reviews the responsive nature of academic library architecture over the last two centuries, noting that libraries have been at the forefront of computerization and continue to provide centralized access to online resources, as well as spaces for collaborative study. Advice on positioning the library as a facility for the future is included.

Libraries with a Future: How Are Academic Library Usage and Green Demands Changing Building Designs?
College and Research Libraries; v71 n4 , p348-260 ; Jul 2010
Support for the modular system of building construction, touted in the second half of the 20th century as the best basis for academic library building design, appears to be waning. A study of "green" libraries in 2008 revealed that not only has energy conservation become important, but that spaces designed for users rather than books have become paramount. The modular system worked particularly well for housing ever-expanding book collections, but collection growth is no longer a practical goal. Users want and need a greater variety of spaces, for which purpose-built rooms are a better choice.

Inside Out.
Gonchar, Joann
Architectural Record; v198 n6 , p148-155 ; Jun 2010
Profiles Massachusetts Institute of Technology's new Media Lab, noting the design of its distinctive exterior, atrium, and exterior screens. Photographs, plans, and a list of project participants accompany the text.

The Modernization of Signs: A Library Leads the Way to Networked Digital Signage.
Computers in Libraries; v30 n3 , p36-38 ; Apr 2010
The authors share how they were able to effectively use the digital signs found in stores, hospitals, businesses, and on billboards in an educational setting that included but was not limited to Winona State University's Krueger Library. The authors conclude that the digital signage provides the library and the entire campus with a dynamic, centralized mechanism for communicating.

Efficiency By the Book. Adobe PDF
McLauchlan, Donald; Lavan, David
High Performing Buildings; , p6-10 ; Spring 2010
Profiles Loyola University Chicago's Richard J. Klarchek Information Commons Building. The abundant high performance features of this bookless learning commons are detailed in text, diagrams, and charts.

Concrete Knowledge: Transforming the Ohio State University Library.
Metz, Stephen
Construction Specifier; v63 n1 , p20-24,26-29 ; Jan 2010
Describes the demise of the 1913 Ohio State University Library's aesthetics and functionality through successive additions and renovations, and then details the 2009 renovation that removed unsightly additions, created a dramatic atrium, added high-efficiency systems, and increased daylighting.

The Learning Center. Adobe PDF
Wernick, Laura
Educational Facility Planner; v44 n4 , p22-25 ; 2010
Describes and provides examples of the transformation of libraries from repositories of information to learning centers that provide not only access to information but also instruction on finding and accessing information. The design and use of space are key ingredients to this transformation.



Due to lack of funding, the National Clearinghouse for Educational Facilities is currently available only as an archived site. As of September 1, 2012 no new content will be added or updates made. We regret the need to take such steps, but should funding become available, we look forward to reinvigorating NCEF and providing this valuable resource to the educational facilities community.

If you have questions or are an organization or company wishing to support the continued operation of this industry recognized resource please contact Institute President Henry Green (, 202-289-7800).