Reinventing the Modern Library as a Tech-Forward, Eco-Friendly, Community Hub by Kristin Hohenadel

Some inspiring examples of library architecture.


Norfolk Public Library: Slover Memorial Main Branch

Libraries have long been community gathering spaces where all members of society can gather around the pursuit of knowledge or the entertainment of a good read. But the outmoded function of the library as a giant warehouse for physical books means that architects are now obliged to focus on designing tech-forward, eco-friendly community hubs to keep them viable in a digital world. The AIA/ALA Library Building Awards—a collaboration between the American Institute of Architects and the American Library Association—began recognizing excellence in library design in 1963. This year’s six winners, announced earlier this month, represent a range of builds and renovations of existing structures that respond to the individual needs of communities but share the same kind of next-generation design that hopefully will keep libraries at the heart of communities for years to come.

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