CHICAGO — When it’s time to start planning for a renovation or construction project, you don’t need a book that covers everything from A to Z. Instead you need a concentrated set of tools and techniques that will guide you and your team to find the best solutions for your specific project. That’s exactly what library building expert Fred Schlipf provides in his new book “Constructing Library Buildings That Work,” published by ALA Editions. This key resource for library directors, administrators, board members, trustees, and planning professionals pinpoints the elements that make library buildings functional, helping everyone involved in the project stay focused on the task at hand. Inside, readers will find:
- a streamlined organization of the text that enables quick consultation and facilitates collaboration;
- concise coverage of the essentials of the library construction process, including who does what, how things work, and how to stay out of trouble along the way;
- advice on important planning and workflow considerations such as site selection, schematic design, funding, design development, the bidding process, construction, and post-construction occupancy;
- discussion of the characteristics of successful library buildings—buildings that are easy to maintain, welcoming to people with disabilities, have less trouble-prone restrooms, and provide security for users, staff, and collections; and
- an overview of bad ideas in library architecture, with pointed guidance on how to steer clear of them from the very beginning of your project.
Schlipf has been a library school faculty member for over 50 years, and he spent nearly 33 years as director of The Urbana Free Library in Illinois. Coauthor of “The Practical Handbook of Library Architecture: Creating Building Spaces that Work,” he’s done formal building consulting for nearly 200 libraries and quick consulting for many more. He has served on dozens of committees and task forces of the American Library Association, Illinois State Library, Illinois Library Association, local library groups in Illinois, and the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America. In 2000, he was named Illinois Librarian of the Year.
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