For immediate release | May 20, 2024

Essential checklist of library building design considerations


CHICAGO — With staff time at a premium, and library budgets that leave little room for overages, undertaking a successful library building or renovation project requires precision planning, effective communication, and focused coordination. Using a methodical approach that will ensure that no detail is overlooked, the new seventh edition of William W. Sannwald's classic book “Checklist of Library Building Design Considerations,” published by ALA Editions, will help library managers, administrators, and facilities staff stay prepared and organized for every phase of a project from conception through the dedication ceremony. This planner covers crucial considerations like:

  • the impacts of COVID-19, such as air quality, proper ventilation, CDC recommendations, collaborative spaces, and designing with open space in mind;
  • how the shift to digital affects library building design, completely new to this edition;
  • Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) factors, structured to match the federal code;
  • sustainable design features, including sensors that save energy and water, and other “healthy building” topics;
  • designing makerspaces, digital media labs, or leased library enterprises;
  • disaster and recovery planning;
  • creating quiet spaces;
  • storage requirements for collections and materials-handling efficiency; and
  • important aspects of virtual services to bear in mind during physical space decisions.

Sannwald is a full-time faculty member in the Fowler College of Business at San Diego State University. In 2017 he received the Teaching Excellence Award from his peers and in 2022 he was selected as the first Glazer Outstanding Lecturer Fellow. He also works as a library building and administrative consultant. During his career, he has been involved in the construction of more than fifty library buildings as either a consultant or owner’s representative in the United States, the UK, Angola, Greece, and the United Arab Emirates. He was elected to the International Federation of Library Systems’ Standing Committee for Library Buildings and Equipment for 2007–2011. He has presented at national and international conferences and is the author of numerous books and articles on library architecture and management. The San Diego chapter of the American Institute of Architects presented him with their highest award, the Irving Gill Award, for his contributions to library architecture, and he received the San Diego design community’s Ruocco Award for his contributions to urban architecture.

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Marketing Coordinator

American Library Association

ALA Publishing & Media