Designing Space for Children and Teens in Libraries and Public Places

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  • Description
  • Table of Contents
  • About the authors
  • Reviews

Providing tips, suggestions, and guidelines on the critical issues that surround designing spaces for children and teens, this how-to book will help you create a space that they will never want to leave. This must-have guide includes

  • How to select an architect or design professional
  • The importance of including YA librarians in the design and implementation
  • Information on how children and teens view and use space
  • 20 color photos of example spaces

Whether your space is large or small, in a library or public place, this resource will give you creative and practical ideas for using the space to its full potential!



Chapter 1 Facilitating the Design
Chapter 2 Reflecting the Mission of the Library
Chapter 3 Planning the Space: Furniture, Shelving, and Equipment
Chapter 4 Relationships and Adjacencies
Chapter 5 Architectural and Environmental Elements
Chapter 6 A Welcoming Place
Chapter 7 Mood and Ambiance
Chapter 8 Financial, Political, and Administrative Considerations



Sandra Feinberg

Sandra Feinberg has devoted the past 40 years to public library service and, since 1991, has served as the director of the Middle Country Public Library, the largest and busiest public library on Long Island (NY). An advocate for improving the quality of life for families, she firmly believes in the ability of public libraries to be family- and community- centered institutions. Under her leadership, what began as a local library program for babies, toddlers, and parents has become a national model and change agent for libraries wanting to serve families in a dynamic and collaborative community environment. In 1979, Feinberg created the Parent/Child Workshop, a unique program that welcomes parents and children as young as one year into the library and integrates community resource professionals within the delivery of library services. This program has gone on to be replicated nationally as part of Family Place Libraries.™ In addition to Family Place, she spearheaded the development of the Community Resource Database (CRD) of Long Island (now 2-1-1-Long Island), which includes over 10,000 health and human services on Long Island; the Suffolk Coalition for Parents and Children, a network of more than 17,000 family service professionals, and the Children's Librarians Association of Suffolk County. From 1999 to 2004, she led Middle Country Public Library through the 40,000-square-foot expansion of two facilities, which included the development of special spaces for young children and teens. Feinberg has received numerous awards— among them, the 2007 Public Library Association Charlie Robinson Award for library directors who are recognized as innovators and risk takers. Under her leadership, Middle Country received the Alfred P. Sloan Award (2005) and the first annual Godfrey Award for Services to Children and Families in Public Libraries (2002). She is the author of numerous articles and six books, is an adjunct professor at the Palmer School of Library and Information Science, Long Island University, and currently serves as chair of the Early Years Institute.

James R. Keller, AIA

James R. Keller, AIA has over 25 years of experience as an architect and has been with VITETTA Architects and Engineers in Philadelphia since 1986. He is a Principal with VITETTA and Director of Library Planning and Design for the firm, where he has designed over 100 library spaces for children including youth spaces for the Broward County Public Library, FL; the Enoch Pratt Free Library, MD; the Horsham Township Library, PA; the Lexington Public Library, KY; the Lower Merion Township Library System, PA; the Marion County Library System, FL; the Free Library of Philadelphia, PA; and the San Antonio Public Library, TX. He served as Library Design Consultant for the Santiago Public Library (Chile) and is the Principal Architect for the new Children's Public Library in Muscat, Oman. Mr. Keller has served as a guest juror for architectural studios at Philadelphia University and Yale University. He is a frequent presenter for national and international organizations including PLA, AIA, IFLA and ALA. Mr. Keller received his BA, BS and MA degrees from Ball State University and lives in Philadelphia.

"This is an excellent resource for a public library director working with architects and contractors when designing new facilities or remodeling current ones. The knowledge base of the authors—a librarian with more than thirty-five years of public library experience and an architect experienced in library planning and design, having designed more than one hundred library spaces for children—is very evident in the detailed descriptions and discussion of the elements crucial to designing functional and aesthetically pleasing spaces."

"There is much to be learned in the area of design for children, and this book both challenges and encourages with critical thinking and examples of creativity in constructing flexible interior environments that enable a sense of community and social interaction ... if library personnel are serious about renovations or new constructions for children's libraries, it is certainly a valuable resource. Many of the perspectives and examples would suit library services far beyond the children's field as well."
--Australian Library Journal

"Many useful checklists are included, and the authors illustrate their theories with examples from a diverse range of libraries ... This book belongs in libraries supporting current and future librarians, as well as architecture libraries. Library staff facing a renovation must read this book, which fills a niche covered only by scholarly articles and a few books on broader topics."
--Reference & User Services Quarterly