Diagrams Of Essential Library Elements

Three diagroms have been prepared as an aid lo visualizing the functional relationships of the principal areas in typical small libraries. These diagrams are for libraries for towns of 5,000, 10,000 and 25,000 persons respectively.

They ore mean I to clarify relationships and circulation patterns. They definitely are not building plans, nor do they constitute the only possible relationships between the program elements. It is intended that they assist in understanding the interrelationships between the major program elements.

They are intended to suggest a starting point for the plonning of the library and represent minimum standards. They are derived from "interim Standards for Smoll Public Libraries: Guide lines Toward Achieving the Goats of Public library Service." ALA—Public Library Association, Chicago, 1962. (See Table 2 on p. 345,)

I. The Library for the Town of 5,000 Population

The basic principles when planning for the librory (Fig- 1} are:

1. Location lo insure maximum accessibility

2. Simplicity of design concept

3. Ease of supervision by library staff

4. Provision for future expansion The basic statistics of the library are:

Staff- One and one half persons, including a professional librarian and a part-time assistant.

Book Collection:

15,000 volumes

III, The Library for the Town of 25,000

Space for book collection: 1,000 sq ft

Space for readers: 700 sq ft

Stoff work space 500 sq ft Estimated additional span for utilities, circulation, and miscellaneousi 800 sq ft

Total estimated floor space: 3,500 iq ft

These are approximates only and will, of course, vary with each community,

II, The Library for the Town of 10,000 Population

This library (Fig. 2) in many respects is an expanded version of the first one. The basic principles and relationships are the same. The staff and space requirements are approximately twice those of the first.

The larger size permits the development of special areas that add to the usefulness of the library and enable it to provide better services. Some of these may be: a special area in the children's section for storytelling and related activities, ex panded reference, and separate periodical areas. A small meeting room may be a useful addition to the program.

The basic requirements for this library are: Staff: Three persons: a professional librarian, an onis-tant, ond part time clerical and page help equivalent to one full-time person. Sice of book collection: 20,000 volumes

Space for the book collection: 2,000 sq ft

Space for readers (40 seats min.>; 1,200 sq ft Staff work space: 1,000 sq ft

Estimated additional space for utilities, circulation, ond miscellaneous: 2,800 sq ft Total estimated floor space 7,000 sq ft

This library (Fig. 3} in function is more complex than the previous libraries. To the three basic functional areas of the library, which are ex panded and elaborated on, there usually is added a fourth, a community function, often in the form of a meeting room or small auditorium. There may also be (Fig. 4)i

Special exhibition space

Special exhibition rooms

Study area with carrels near the stacks

Small meeting rooms

Audiovisual rooms or booths

The circulation pattern is more complex. A separate entrance for children is highly desirable. Access la the community facility by the public after normal library hours is required. A library of this size may be a two-level structure. On the diagram (Fig. 3| we hove indicoted these circulation requirements. Note the separate staff and public circulation between levels. The basic requirements for the library for the town af 25,000 persons are:

Staff: Ten—this might be broken down to include two professional librarians, o college groduote, three assistants, and four other persons, divided between deri-col ond pages. Space for book collection: 5,000 sq ft

Reader space (minimum of 75 seats): 2,250 sq ft

Staff work space; 1,500

Estimated additional space required for special uses, utilities, and miscellaneous; 6,250 sq ft

Total estimated floor space-. 15,000 sq ft


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A. Anthony Tappé. ALA. Guida lo Planning a library Building, Hugfter.* and Toppé, Inc., Boston, )968.

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