Designing Your Library For Interactivity

On November 19, Library Journal Magazine will host a free webinar: Designing Your Library for InteractivityLibrary design experts from leading architectural firms will explore the ways in which technology is impacting library design and how libraries can prepare for the future. Bradd Brown, principal at OPN Architects, will help lead the discussion. Bradd has been helping communities realize their vision for library services for more than 20 years and with 30+ libraries in his portfolio, he is deeply immersed in best practices for library design.

Bradd’s presentation centers around the idea of the library as the key to access information and opportunity. In today’s digital age, the library is morphing into more of a swiss army knife. As libraries encounter technological changes, they’re offering services and resources—like makerspaces and collaborative computing—that would have been impossible to imagine just a decade ago. From community forums to hackerspaces, the way patrons interact with their library and each other is driving new visions of what libraries need to be.

Bradd will use the new downtown Cedar Rapids Public Library, as a case study, examining the ways in which the library was designed to be “More like an Apple Store than the DMV.”  The designers  worked closely with director Bob Pasicznyuk and library staff to envision the library that would be flexible to accommodate the changes in technology while staying true to the library’s intended purpose. According to Pasicznyuk, “Libraries originally were very much civic centers, centers of learning and to a certain extent centers of enjoyment and entertainment.” The design for the new downtown Cedar Rapids Public Library builds upon this tradition while reinventing the space for the digital age.