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Building Libraries & Library Additions: General Information

A selection of tools, resources, and advice to help you manage your library building project, whether large or small.

ALA Library Fact Sheet 11

Building new libraries, additions, and even remodeling can be a daunting task, and one that most librarians do not undertake frequently. This fact sheet provides references to the tools, resources, and advice to help you manage your library building project, whether large or small. Although this list has been segmented by types of libraries, materials listed for one type may have useful information for planning other types of buildings.

Not all libraries are standalone buildings, or have the same internal features. A web search will turn up libraries that have been co-located in apartment buildings, grocery stores, senior centers, shopping malls, arts centers, and museums. Some libraries have coffee shops or theaters as well.

Please note that ALA no longer sets quantitative standards for public libraries, such as a library building with a recommended number of square feet based on population size. Such standards were last published by ALA in the 1970s.

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