Library Branch in the Mall
Q. We’re renovating one of our branches and have been offered space in a mall as a temporary home. Have other libraries done this?
A. Yes, there are other library facilities sited in malls, as both temporary and permanent locations. We do not have solid statistics on how many, but we’ve gathered references to a number of them at the Public Library in Shopping Mall page at the ALA Professional Tips Wiki.
Definitely add your mall branch library to the page if we've missed it! Or let us know about it in a comment below.
The grand suburban malls and shopping centers first built in the 1960s and 1970s are being repurposed for new uses, as noted by Blair Kamin in the June 21, 2010 entry of his Chicago Tribune Cityscapes Blog, Suburbia revised: Confronting shuttered shopping centers and empty big-boxes, developers try turning malls into Main Streets.
As you think about your new location, you might want to review the library building planning information on our ALA Library Fact Sheet 11 - Building Libraries and Library Additions: A Selected Annotated Bibliography. Of special note is William W. Sannwald's Checklist of Library Building Design Considerations, Fifth Edition which has a section on site selection.