ALA Annual 2016

Creating Spaces of Wonder at #alaac16

Interested in learning about creating physical spaces that promote wonder in your library? If so, read on for a quick summary of two Monday sessions that were phenomenal!

Top Library Building Trends 2016

This panel session featured Russell A. Davidson (President of the American Institute of Architects), Dennis Humphries (Principal at Humphries Poli Architects), Stephanie Shook (Interior Designer at HBM Architects), and Cynthia Robinson (Director of George T. Harrell Health Science Library at Penn State University). Here are a few takeaways from an exciting session!

  • Trends in library design:
    • Inclusion of the “lost arts” (gardening, cooking etc.)
    • Re-integration of collections into library spaces (a more balanced approach where library spaces are designed both for experiences and for collections)
    • Installation of gender neutral bathrooms
    • Alternative library spaces (architects and library staff are intentionally seeking out ways to extend their services beyond the traditional building – for example, with the Boise Public Library creating a Digital Branch in the Boise Airport)
    • Open and airy design
    • Fewer fixed service points
    • Flexible spaces (pop-up spaces, furniture on wheels etc.)
  • Inspiring quotes:
    • “If you want the output of a project to be successful, then you must get the input of those who would deem it so.”
    • What libraries need is “innovation that is not so much a fad as a response to the needs in our community.”

ALSC Charlemae Rollins President’s Program: “Libraries: The Space to Be”

This was another wonderful session that centered on the creation of physical spaces for children, featuring Marty Sklar and an expert panel of library and child development leaders. Here are a few tips from Mr. Sklar for any task that requires creative leadership (and we’re all creative leaders, so they’re for all of us!):

  • “If you don’t fail from time to time, you won’t do anything creative.”
  • “To live a creative life, you have to lose your fear of being wrong.”
  • “The only way you find success before work is in the dictionary.”


I hope these posts have been helpful if you’ve found yourself #alscleftbehind. Thank you for all you do to create a better future for children through libraries!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *