Designing Modern Libraries (That Work)

“At the end of the day, if we create a building and we turn it back over to the community…and the librarians reports that they find that they are much more engaged with their patrons, they are coming up to them with lots more questions and interests, and they want to learn more, then I think we have succeeded because that is, after all, that’s what libraries are all about, the dispensing and communication of knowledge and the sharing of knowledge.” – Tony Hsiao

In the video interview below, Tony Hsiao, Principal and Director of Design at Finegold Alexander Architects in Boston, MA, discusses what has learned and observed about how we use libraries today, what the incredible needs are of the library staff (who are not only trying to be nimble as they plan new spaces but have new needs for their own work spaces as they process more materials than ever), and how he applies these insights when designing new libraries.

Tony also discusses the importance of community engagement and input during the planning and design of new library buildings, about ‘meeting people where they are’ and how physical models really bring the conversation to a real place that renderings often cannot.

The Library Effect first met Tony in October 2013 at the New England Library Association Conference in Portland, ME, and the interview was conducted by Shannon McDonough in November 2013 at the offices of Finegold Alexander Architects in Boston, MA.

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