Blurring the boundaries: the reshaping of library spaces

11.40 – Wednesday 4th July

This session is focused on the way libraries are reinventing themselves, blurring the boundaries between public and academic learning spaces, between libraries as resource collections and libraries as creative, collaborative and social spaces.

Library Design – A Human Centric Design Approach and the Value of Partnerships

Based upon the project, The Word, National Centre for the Written Word.  The presentation will explore the relevance of libraries, cover the blurring of traditional library design and the library as ‘third place’.

The presentation will also introduce a human centric design strategy with wellbeing, social value, and adaptability firmly embedded within the design principles.

Stephen Dickson: Senior Associate – Head of Interior Design, Faulknerbrowns Architects LLP

Steve is a Senior Associate of FaulknerBrowns Architects. His understanding of the operational and functional demands of different building types brings an added dimension to the design process. His human-centric design approach ensures that buildings respond to the changing nature of cultural and social influences.

He has been responsible for many award winning library projects including The Word, National Centre for the Written Word and Stratford Library, both setting standards for a new generation of public libraries. As a consequence, he has advised CABE on library design and acted as Technical Adviser to Worcestershire County Council and Manchester City Council.

Evolving Libraries: Meeting, Sharing, and Learning in a Digital Age

Taking inspiration from her tour of public libraries, funded by the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust, and recent projects in the office and residential sectors, Gemma John explores the blurred boundaries between learning, working and living environments. In particular, she draws on contemporary case studies from Europe, North America and Australia to highlight the emerging importance of the public library as a workplace.

Dr Gemma John: Founder & Director, Human City
Gemma is Founder and Director at Human City, a spatial strategy consultancy in London that researches what matters to people living and working in cities, and unlocks the value of real estate for tenants, end-users, business and communities. At Human City, Gemma conducts ethnographic research to inform the design of office, residential and education spaces. Prior to this, she was Senior Researcher at the internationally renowned architecture practice Foster + Partners and a Strategic Consultant at Strategy+ (legacy DEGW) at AECOM. In 2015, she was awarded a Churchill Fellowship to study the transformation of public libraries.
The Hive

The Hive is unique; the first fully integrated academic and public library and history centre, a partnership between Worcestershire County Council and the University of Worcester. What are the key factors of a successful library space and how does it work in practice? Five years on, this presentation will cover the steps from design to delivery; the commitment to joint service delivery and what’s next for the library of the future.

Laura Worsfold: Business Development Manager, The Hive, Worcester
Laura has over 20 years’ experience, leading and delivering complex projects in the public and private sector and has a proven track record of building strong and resilient public and private sector partnerships. Having worked on major capital developments including Compton Verney Art Gallery in Warwickshire, The Ashmolean, and the Old Fire Station in Oxford, (a partnership between Oxford City Council and Crisis UK), Laura is passionate about the role that libraries, arts and culture have to play in shaping communities and in making a difference to people’s lives. Laura has been at The Hive since 2012 and was instrumental in leading the mobilisation and operational development. She is jointly employed by the university and the local authority.

 Chair, David Lindley: Executive Director, Designing Libraries CIC
David is Director of Designing Libraries, a community interest company sharing information about trends in public and academic library building and service design, showcasing libraries from around the world. He was formerly Chair of the Library Booksellers Group of the Booksellers Association and a brand communications consultant. He is also a poet, writer and translator: www.verborumeditions.com.