EnglishGeneralLibrary Science

Planning the Modern Library Building : instruction

Principles follows for planning a Library Building:


Planning and construction of library building is one of the important organizational functions. It requires through understanding of needs of the users, objectives and functions of a library. The successful library building is one which clearly and directly expresses and provides the functions that are performed within it.
Some general principles of planning should be kept in mind which could serve as criteria in the light of which the building plans can be critically reviewed.In this context, Charls C. Soule said the construction of library building should be planned according to the kind of work to be done and the community to be served.Henry
Faulkner, a British architect, has given the following principles for planning a library building which can equally be adopted in our country:

  1. Flexible, with layout, structure and services which are easy to adopt.
  2. Compact for ease of movement of readers, staff and books.
  3. Accessible, from the exterior into the building and from the entrance to all parts of the building with an easy comprehensive plan.
  4. Extendible, to permit future growth with minimum disruption.
  5. Organized, to improve appropriate confrontation between books and readers.
  6. Comfortable, to promote efficiency of use.
  7. Varied, in its position of reader space, to give wide freedom of choice.
  8. Constant, in environment for the preservation of library materials.
  9. Secure, to control user behavior and loss of books.
  10. Indicative, of its functions.
Apart from the above principles, we may use mention some other factors which are also important for planning a library building in Bangladesh.
There are:

  • At first suitable site must be selected for the library building.
  • It should be independent building and provision for future expansion should be made.
  • Suitable provision should be made for work place and staff.
  • The building should have proper natural lighting, ventilation and control of noise.
  • It should not have a complex architecture.
  • Interior arrangement should be planned before the exterior.
  • Study areas should be closed to stack and book collections.
  • The building should have functional design rather than monumental.
  • There should be no tree very near the proposed library buildings.
  • Proper amenities like water and toilets should be provided and fire protection should be made.
  • For reasons of security and safety, one can entrance and exit should be kept open at one time.
Phases of a Proposed Library building: 
1. Formation of library building committee: It is desirable to form a small building committee to handle the full process of library building. This committee may consist of representative from all concerned groups as well as the architect and the librarian. A building committee should be appointed to assist in the preparation of a concept programme evaluation of building plans. The building committee should consist of the following:

  • The architect.
  • The librarian.
  • The library consultant.
  • Interior designer.
  • Head of the institution.
  • Others.
Responsibility of Library Building committee:
The responsibilities of library building committee are:
a. The building committee should be charged with the responsibility for ascertaining the library’s needs and for accumulating necessary data.
b. The committee should consult as widely as necessary to determine the needs of the library.
c. The committee should acquaint itself with the experience of other libraries with respect to new buildings.
d. It should visit, if possible, some newer libraries and examine library building plans.
e. With the assistance of the librarian and library consultant, the committee should make detailed estimates of the requirements of the different library units.
2. Arranging the library building programme: After building committee has completed its planning it set down in writing, for the guidance of architect, a detailed, explicit statement of the requirements of the library. This statement may be prepared by the librarian by the library consultant, or by the architect in consultation with librarian or by the building committee itself.Space requirements should be given in detail. These requirements may be stated under such headings as: Space for books, space of readers (Seating), space for staff, and space required for other purposes. 
  
3. Space estimates: In early stages of planning it is helpful to make some rough estimates of space requirements in terms of floor area. These estimates can be used in calculating probable cost of construction and they can be kept in mind when building sites are being considered. There is no standard measure that can be followed everywhere. A probable estimate for public library and for university are given below:
In Public Library:
  • For Magazine and periodical reader: 12 foot of superficial space each.
  • Borrower estimated to be present one time: 20 square foot
  • Normal Books: 10 volumes per square foot. But in reference section 7-8 volumes per
    square foot.
In University Library:
  • For library materials: 1 square foot per 15 volumes.
  •  Undergraduate students: 25 square foot per student
  • Graduate students: 35 square foot per student
  • Faculty Member: 75 square foot per member
  • Staff, counting and anticipated size: 100 square foot per person there are space requirements for stairways, corridors, ventilating of air conditioning and other accommodations. 

4. The preliminary plans: The preliminary plan represents the most important phase of the whole planning process. The architect may produce a rough drawing of the main floor. The librarian has an important role in this preliminary plan. He should examine critically the architect’s first drawing to determine whether adequate provision is being made for each library functions and whether the building as a whole will be sufficiently flexible and expandable for future use. After establishing the arrangement between the architect and librarian, the architect may draw the detail plan. If the cost estimates are satisfactory and no important problems remain, the preliminary plan will be approved and the architect will be authorized to prepare large plan and specifications. 

5. Final plans and specifications: Final plans will consist of floor plans, elevations and sections and details of the structure. These will provide graphic illustrations of the building from several physical view points. The general constructions plans will be supplemented by separate set of drawings illustrating the design of the heating, ventilating and air-conditioning systems. There will be additional drawings illustrating the detailed design and location of many general and special features of the building such as stacks, furniture etc. This plan will be supported written specifications describing the type and quality of materials to be used and any other information necessary for the builder. Then it can be placed for final approval of the committee. 

6. Selecting the site: Where to locate the new buildings is an important question.
According to K. Metcalf, five major factors should be considered in selecting a sit.
Those are;

  1. Is its size adequate?
  2. What is its relation to neighboring buildings and to the whole population and traffic flow of the institution?
  3. What orientation is possible for a library building erected on it?
  4. Are there advantages or disadvantages in the slope of the land?
  5. What complications will arise from the nature of the ground beneath the buildings?
Simply, the site should be large enough to accommodate the present building and pursuit future expansion. The site should have an excellent surroundings and quiet environment. The library buildings should be situated centrally with pleasant surroundings and convenient accessibility where no contamination of air, sound etc. will occur. Keeping it as widely as possible adjacent to the user’s place.
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Md. Ashikuzzaman

Work at North South University Library, Bangladesh.

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