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Planning library build presentation


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  • 1. Planning Library Buildings; the background work Upali Amarasiri Director/NILIS NILIS seminar/workshop Series 16 th October 2008 National Institute of Library and Information Sciences, University of Colombo
  • 2. Need Assessment
    • Is it necessary to have a new building?
    • Alternatives to a new building; new space planning, shared facilities, decentralisation, high tech/modern furniture/equipment etc.
    • Present and future needs of the library; expansion of the collection, services, clientele & ICT facilities etc.
    • Development goals/targets of the mother institute
  • 3. How to Finance the Project
    • Annual institutional/organisation budget? How reliable?
    • As a part of the foreign funded project?
    • New building fund – cost of the building, fittings, furniture, equipments, professional advisory fee (architect, engineers, interior designer, library consultant etc.), other expenses
    • Space for annual inflation and unexpected expenditure
    • Explore ways of secure the necessary additional funds, if necessary
  • 4. Preparation of the architect’s brief
    • What services you expect the library to provide? (lending, reference, ICT, children, conservation etc.)
    • Non-library activities (seminars, conferences, exhibitions etc.)
    • Collection size at present and in 10 years time
    • Sub collections and their special requirements (reference, lending, restricted reference, audio-visual materials, electronic materials, manuscripts etc.)
    • Number of users at present and in 5 to 10 years time
  • 5.
    • Characteristics of the users (researchers, academics, students, general public, children, elderly, disable, etc.)
    • Requirements for the in-house activities (library staff, technical services etc.)
    • Special library requirements (close access, open access, silence areas, climate control, security of the collection, easy for surveillance etc.)
    • Provide a chart with the workflow and interconnected services
  • 6. Identify the project management team
    • Membership depends on the type of organisation
    • In local authority set up it is the mayor/chairman, commissioner/secretary, works engineer/technical officer, librarian and others
    • University/institutional set up; Registrar/Director, works engineer, librarian, architect and a number of other members
    • Advisable to have a member from the library advisory committee
  • 7.
    • Small libraries can always seek the assistance from the NLDSB
    • For a large library buildings it is always advisable to get the services of a library consultant, an architect and a interior designer
    • Insist to have quality project management team
  • 8. Provide the architect enough opportunities to understand the needs of the library
    • Show him a few quality, as well as poorly designed library buildings
    • Provide him the literature on library building/interior planning (NL,NILIS,SLLA, Kelaniya university, USIS, Internet)
    • Arrange a discussion with senior librarians who know the subject
    • Provide a list of ‘do s and don’t s’ (e.g. no too many entry exit points, reference area should not be located closer to a busy area)
  • 9. Study the draft plan
    • Study the draft plan critically
    • Discuss it with your staff and with colleagues in the profession
    • Identify the weak areas
    • Identify the areas that can be improved
    • Identify the possible alternatives
    • Balance between Aesthetic versus Functional
    • Discuss them with the architect/project m. team
  • 10. Beware
    • Don’t let the management to exclude the librarian in the building planning process
    • Don’t blindly accept the plan/s of the architect or management
    • Librarian should play her/his role properly and impress the others
    • If the librarian does not have adequate knowledge on the subject acquire it or get professional help
    • Attend the planning meetings well prepared
  • 11.
    • If librarian finds difficult to express his/her argument at the meeting find alternate ways (brief the committee chairman in advance, brief another committee member or the architect in advance, write a short memo and table it etc.)
    • Prepare the architect’s brief professionally which can avoid a lot of problems subsequently
    • Be always alert about the time schedule of the construction and proper supervision at every stage
  • 12. Thank you