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.

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.

The L!brary Book: Design Collaborations in the Public Schools.
Siddiqi, Anooradha Iyer
(Princeton Architectural Press , Apr 2010)
The nonprofit L!brary Initiative, created by the Robin Hood Foundation, has been working since 2001 to enhance student literacy and overall academic achievement by collaborating with school districts to design, build, equip, and staff new elementary school libraries. This book takes readers behind the scenes of fifty groundbreaking library projects to show how widely varied fields and communities—corporate underwriters, children's book publishers, architects, graphic designers, product manufacturers, library associations, teachers, and students—can join forces to make a difference in the lives of children. Based on the premise that good library design can actually inspire learning, the L!brary Initiative brings together some of the world's leading architects to reimagine the elementary school libraries in New York City. The author documents every project with beautiful photos as well as renderings and measured drawings. 176p.

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.

The School Libraries Project. .
(An Initiative of the Capitol Hill Community Foundation, 2010)
This describes a community-based, public/private partnership effort to renovate libraries at eight District of Columbia schools. The goal is to turn school libraries into first-class libraries with beautiful, inviting spaces that welcome children and provide community space after school hours. The Capitol Hill Community Foundation is working with the Washington Architectural Foundation and the architects who have been assigned to each school to develop designs.

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.

Library Design Part 2: Facilities and Programs
SchoolDesigner; Dec 2010
Profiles three public school library/media centers that exemplify the changes that are taking place in library design. New trends are discussed including the library as a teaching space, a place for learning together, and a place for producing information.

Research on Research Centers.
Abramson, Paul
School Planning and Management; v49 n12 , p54 ; Dec 2010
Makes the case that the amount of library space may now be reduced, but, at the same time, the number of librarians should be increased. More than ever, librarians are playing a key educational role. Librarians introduce children to reading, help students do research, and now how to use electronic media. This includes teaching the ethical use of material foud on the Internet.

Community Centers/Joint-Use Facilities and Modular Facilties.
American School and University; v83 n3 , p181-184 ; Nov 2010
Profiles two joint-use facilities and one modular high school honored for functionality, frugality, design features and balance, ability to inspire learning, and flexibility. The joint-use facilities are the Lunda Center at Wisconsin's Western Technical College and the Centennial Hills Library of the Las Vegas-Clark County Library District. The modular facility is High Tech High School in Chula Vista, California. Photographs, building statistics, and a list of project participants accompany the text.

The Key to Designing Specialty Spaces.
Bane, Dennis; Miller, Steven; Cordon, Andrew; Lerner, Jonathan; Aldis, Jonathan
School Planning and Management; v49 n11 , p20 ; Nov 2010
Dicusses specialty educational spaces by providing general design advice, illustrated with five examples from various schools. A media center, music suite, auditorium, outdoor classroom, and athletic facility are addressed.

Library Design, Part 1: New Approaches Meet Students' Needs.
DeZina, Ima
Schooldesigner; , p2-6 ; Nov 2010
Profiles four public school library/media centers that offer a comfortable place to read, research, and relax. Easy access to technology, natural light, and spaces for individual study or group collaboration are emphasized.

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.

Main Winners.
American School and University; v82 n13 , p14,16-19 ; Aug 2010
Profiles the two main winners in the 2010 American School and University Magazine Education Interiors competition. The Omaha Public Schools Saddlebrook Joint-Use Library and the New York University Stern School of Business Concourse were chosen for high performance, value, safety and security, innovation, atmosphere, functionality, quality, and contextual relationship. 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.

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).