NCEF Resource List: Library and Media Center Facilities Design--K-12
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Information on the design and planning of K-12 school libraries and media centers, compiled by the National Clearinghouse for Educational Facilities.

References to Books and Other Media

The New Learning Commons: Where Learners Win. Reinventing School Libaries and Computer Labs. Second Edition.
Loertscher, David; Koechlin, Carol and Zwaan, Sandi
(Hi Willow Research & Publishing, 2012)
Proposes a rethinking of the function and role of school libraries and computer labs in a 21st century school. Include the latest research in education, technology, and library science. 131p

Collective Intelligence. Facility's Response to the International Baccalaureate Curriculum.
Lee, Liz
(Perkins Eastman K-12 Group, Oct 2011)
Provides plans for accommodating the ideals of the International Baccalaureate (IB) program within an existing school facility, including Primary Learning Modalities, General Meeting & Collaboration, General Teaching Training, and Diploma College Preparation. Focuses on the library as a dynamic and active place for collaboration and exploration. Includes strategies to minimize costs while providing a first class 21st century educational experience. 16p

Woodland Hills High School Library Design Competition.
Christman, Robert A. and Hengelsberg, Brian B.
(YouTube, Feb 24, 2011)
Virtual tour of a high school library design created by Architectural Innovations. The design was entered in a competition.

Whole Building Design Guide: School Library.
(National Institute of Building Sciences, Washington, DC, 2011)
Provides an overview of school library design including a description of spaces. Details the relevant codes and standards, and includes a list of major resources.

References to Journal Articles

Not to Be Shelved.
Goodale, David L.
School Planning and Management; , p48-49 ; Feb 2012
While advances in technology have caused some to predict the demise of the book, K-12 libraries are more than reading rooms. Discusses the resilience of books; a community of learning; technology, programmatic change and environmental support; and the iconic center.

The Library as a Digital Learning Space
McCrea, Bridget
THE Journal ; Jan 11, 2012
Describes the Simsbury High School in Simsbury, CT that is developing and honing a hybrid library that incorporates both traditional books and new digital technologies. Key features include a spacious entry way, two lounge seating areas, mission-style furnishings, a librarian reference desk that's positioned in a central location on the library floor, two library classroom/computer labs, 30 PCs, and 17,000 physical books.

Orchard School Library Addition
Architizer; Dec 01, 2011
Describes a library addition to the Orchard School in San Jose, California that connects the elementary and middle school areas. The library's sustainable design includes a high-performance exterior building envelope, interior day lighting, natural ventilation, photovoltaic panels, upgraded mechanical systems, green-certified interior furnishings and finishes, water-saving plumbing fixtures, and careful siting and orientation to reduce solar heat gain.

The All-Digital Library
McCrea, Bridget
THE Journal; Oct 19, 2011
Discusses the Cushing Academy of Ashburnham, MA that got rid of 40,000 books and replaced them with electronic sources, and redesigned the library with open space, new furniture, and a cafe where students and faculty could mingle and collaborate. An existing computer lab was converted into a lounge for faculty and staff, new WiFi access points were added, and new electric boxes were installed to accommodate student laptop use in the building.

iCommons: The Library Evolved
McCrea, Bridget
THE Journal; Oct 05, 2011
Discusses the Oxbridge Academy of the Palm Beaches' library where there are no physical books in the building, and certain aspects of the space mimic what you'd find in your typical Barnes & Noble cafe. iCommons serves as a center of intellectual activity and academic life.

New School of Thought: Collaborative Spaces Are Critical in Today's School Designs
Bell, Amy
Learning By Design; , p18-21 ; Fall 2011
Common multiuse spaces include cafetoriums, libraries, and general communal spaces such as corridors and atriums. With some creative thinking, any of these spaces can accomodate a variety of activities.

New Schools Are Shelving the Old Library
Mason, Craig
Daily Journal of Commerce; , 2p ; Aug 25, 2011
Active learning centers and dispersed resource programs are replacing the dusty stacks of yore. Describes several recent school library projects where an active resource center supports a more dynamic model of student learning, and library functions are dispersed across the campus.

Student-Centered Interior Design.
Kollie, Ellen
School Planning and Management; v50 n8 , p33,34,37 ; Aug 2011
Discusses design of classroom, cafeteria, library, technology and other mobile equipment to accommodate aural, visual, and tactile learners. Flexibility, acoustics, lighting, connection to the outdoors, a variety of large and small learning spaces, scale, technology integration, and mobile storage are discussed.

Building Blueprints: Libraries and Media Centers.
Mason, Craig
School Planning and Management; v50 n7 , p54,55 ; Jul 2011
Describes a library/media center distributed across four small learning communities at Marysville Getchell High School Campus. The amenities for the students, staffing, and organization are addressed.

Innovation Among the Stacks. Bringing Sustainability to School Libraries.
Schaffer, Julie
Green Building and Design Magazine; , p86-87 ; Jul-Aug 2011
Describes a series of renovations to high-school libraries throughout the five boroughs of New York City. All of the renovations – eleven designed, eight completed – incorporate sustainable features including recycled materials, fixtures, and furniture through the spaces, and energy-efficient lighting and low-VOC or no-VOC paints and adhesives.

21st Century Learning.
Kennedy, Mike
American School and University; v83 n8 , p16-18,20,22 ; May 2011
Compares a 1990's concept of 21st century school improvements with the current reality of upgrades in an ailing economy. The biggest impact is on school libraries, since students no longer need to spend great amounts of time in the library because of technological advances. The savings on library capital expenses can be directed towards other uses like gymnasiums and theaters.

The School Library Space is Changing.
Wernick, Laura
American School and University; v83 n9 , p24,26,28 ; May 2011
Discusses the evolution of school libraries toward being social and "learning commons" spaces, and away from being storage for large quantities of books. The article emphasizes that this trend extends all the way down to the early learning and elementary school levels.

Divine Design: How to Create the 21st-century School Library of Your Dreams.
Sullivan, Margaret
School Library Journal ; Apr 2011
Recommends five design considerations when planning a school library: create flexible spaces; start merchandising the collection; insist on strong infrastructure; don't sacrifice livability for beauty; and create a secure environment outdoors for students to gather, read, perform, or just relax.

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.

Going out of Print.
Wetschler, Ed
District Administration; v47 n2 , p22-24,26,27 ; Feb 2011
Discusses the migration of school libraries from printed books to electronic books and resources. An inset article on the future of library facility design is included.



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).