A highlight of this year’s ALA Conference in San Francisco (July 2015) was a day long tour of five of the city’s branch libraries.
San Francisco City is reaching the end of a one hundred million dollar upgrade programme of its libraries. The refurbished and new buildings, from an architectual perspective, are rich and well considered solutions but the most impressive ingredient was the absolute commitment the City made to engage with the neighbourhoods these libraries service.
There was never less than four public meetings and in one case twenty five public meetings to invite local people to share what they wanted in their library and to input and critique the design as it progressed.
One new library build went a step further insisting on using local contractors achieving over 60% of workers from the immediate neighbourhood. Wouldn’t you like to visit your local library with your kids and tell them ‘Grandad helped build this.”
Now that’s community glue!
Paul White, Director of Design, Instinct Furniture.