Designing Libraries for the 21st Century (Paperback)

Designing Libraries for the 21st Century By H. Thomas Hickerson (Editor), Joan K. Lippincott (Editor), Leonora Crema (Editor) Cover Image
By H. Thomas Hickerson (Editor), Joan K. Lippincott (Editor), Leonora Crema (Editor)
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The 21st century has seen a transformational shift in the design of college and research libraries, one focused more on user experience and engagement than on collections. Dramatic changes in library design have been driven by changes in the core functions of universities and colleges: the reliance on digital tools and content, integration of technologies into pedagogy and research, and emphasis on the active and social aspects of learning, inclusion, and community engagement. Planning for these vibrant spaces needs to incorporate new program and staffing strategies, robust technical infrastructure, human-centered design, and flexibility to enable ongoing change.

Designing Libraries for the 21st Century explores these trends and identifies promising strategies for new or renovated library space. The book features an impressive array of authors drawn largely from the conference of the same name, providing guidance, principles, and a wealth of creative ideas for spaces, technology, programs, and partnerships. Twenty-nine chapters packed with full color images and illustrations explore these themes:
  • 21st-Century Academic Libraries in an Evolving Environment
  • Aligning with the Institutional Vision
  • Working with Architects, Designers, and Planners
  • Key Issues in Planning
  • Collaborations and Convergence
  • Leadership, Organizational Change, and New Staff Roles
  • Programming for Research, Learning, and Community
  • Looking Ahead 
Often major building projects focus primarily on the physical facility, but this volume makes the case for designing libraries in a much more holistic fashion. Today all types of libraries are engaged in reimagining their roles and the spatial design through which this new vision will be realized. Both inspirational and practical, Designing Libraries for the 21st Century is a must read for librarians, architects, planners, academic leaders, and anyone interested in the future of libraries. This book is also available as an open access edition at

About the Author

H. Thomas Hickerson’s career includes international leadership in library and museum administration, archives and special collections, technology innovation, and library building design. As an archivist, he guided the Cornell University Library’s archives and rare book programs, serving as President of the Society of American Archivists (SAA) and on the International Council on Archives Executive Board. As a technology innovator, he created campus and international collaborations using emerging technologies to expand access to diverse academic and cultural holdings. In 2006, Tom became Vice Provost at the University of Calgary with a mandate to lead the design of a new model for university libraries. The $205M project to build the Taylor Family Digital Library led to broad recognition and to his founding role in the Designing Libraries for the 21st Century Conference series. His professional leadership includes serving on the Board of the Association of Research Libraries and as President of the Canadian Association of Research Libraries. He is a Cornell University Librarian Emeritus whose recognitions include being named an SAA Fellow and Computerworld Honors Program Laureate for “the use of information technologies for the benefit of society.”

Joan K. Lippincott (BA, MLS, PhD) is Associate Executive Director Emerita of the Coalition for Networked Information (CNI), a joint program of the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) and EDUCAUSE. At CNI, Joan provided leadership for programs in learning spaces, teaching and learning, digital scholarship, ETDs, and assessment. She served on the boards of the Networked Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations (NDLTD), the New Media Consortium (NMC) and on the advisory board for the Horizon Report. Joan was the editor of the EDUCAUSE Review E-Content column and was chair of the Association of College & Research Libraries’ (ACRL) New Publications Board, and served as a member of the ACRL task force that produced the Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education. She served on the advisory boards of the Learning Spaces Collaboratory and the Learning Space Toolkit project. Joan has consulted with many academic libraries on their space renovation projects and has been on the planning committee for the Designing Libraries for the 21st Century conference since its inception.

Leonora Crema (BA, MA, MLS) is a Librarian Emerita at the University of British Columbia. She has exercised a leading role in the design of two new buildings on the UBC campus, the Walter C. Koerner Library and Library PARC, as well as numerous space renovations. Leonora’s roles at UBC have included serving as Associate University Librarian for Client Services, AUL for Planning and Community Relations, and Director of External Relations for the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre. Active in professional associations, including as a past President of the British Columbia Library Association, she speaks regularly on topics such as service innovation and library space design. Her career recognitions include a national award for innovation from the Canadian Association of University Business Officers, and a Council of Prairie and Pacific University Libraries award for outstanding contributions to the consortium. Leonora has been an invited speaker and mentor at library leadership institutes, drawing upon her experiences in coaching early career professionals.

Product Details
ISBN: 9780838939222
ISBN-10: 0838939228
Publisher: Assoc of College & Research Libraries
Publication Date: December 21st, 2022
Pages: 462
Language: English