For immediate release | April 10, 2024

Newly updated handbook of library architecture

CHICAGO — The second edition of “The Practical Handbook of Library Architecture,” published by ALA Editions, covers everything from planning completely new library buildings to small remodeling projects. Library directors, board members, and planning professionals will want this newly updated resource close at hand before, during, and after any library construction project. With a dash of humor, authors Fred Schlipf, Joe Huberty, and John A. Moorman point out many common dysfunctional ideas that have managed to permeate library buildings, using them to guide readers towards adhering to functional essentials of library design at every step in the process. Packed with lists and headings to allow for easy scanning, this resource:

  • offers expanded information on several topics, such as healthy building designs, accessibility for users with disabilities, construction management, and acoustics;
  • provides nuts-and-bolts guidance on the entire process of planning, design, and construction, including "snappy rules" summarizing each chapter;
  • explains how library buildings actually function as objects, and how that applies to library design;
  • shows how to collaborate productively with planners, architects, and contractors;
  • discusses the technical needs of basic library spaces, including collection storage, user seating, meeting and conference rooms, craft rooms, study areas, service desks, restrooms, and staff workspaces; and
  • includes updated consideration of technical requirements relating to HVAC, lighting, energy conservation, security and insurance, elevators, staircases, and other areas.

Schlipf has been a library school faculty member for over 50 years, and spent nearly 33 years as director of The Urbana Free Library in Illinois. He’s done formal building consulting for between 150 and 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. He was Illinois Librarian of the Year in 2000. Huberty is a partner with Engberg Anderson Architects. A licensed architect in eighteen states, he has spent the last 30+ years planning and designing award-winning and much-loved libraries across the nation. His work for public and academic libraries has been the subject of multiple presentations at state and national conferences. Moorman has worked as director of five public libraries and a multi-type library system, most recently the Decatur (Illinois) Public Library and the Williamsburg (Virginia) Regional Library. Active in state and national library associations, when not working with buildings, he developed a specialty in legislative matters, served as a registered lobbyist, and chaired legislative-related committees for the Illinois and Virginia Library Associations. He is a past president of the Virginia Library Association and a lifelong elected honorary member of that association.

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American Library Association

ALA Publishing & Media