Team Work -Preliminary Considerations of Library building
Planning a library building is a team work: The team consists of the library authority or the management committee, the librarian and the architect. The library authority or the management committee is responsible for the selection of a knowledgeable, qualified and experienced librarian, the appointment of a suitable building coordination committee, involvement of senior library staff members, the appointment of a qualified architect (preferably one who has planned or supervised a library construction before) with clear mandate, acquisition of a suitable site and the provision of adequate funds for the building project (after knowing the costs involved, special items, if any, affecting the cost and financial implications of the new construction).
The librarian is responsible for developing a plan for the general interior arrangements, relationship of service areas, space requirement for anticipated types and volumes of documents, reading areas, equipment requirements, special needs-both present and future and all staff and service requirements.
A very crucial role is played by the architect who is able to transform the requirement plan drawn up by the librarian into a functionally elegant interior and aesthetically pleasing exterior of a library building within the limitations of resources provided. This is possible if there is a good rapport between the librarian and the architect, each understanding the other's strong points and limitations. The librarian and the architect may also need to consult other specialists interior decorators, equipment and furniture manufacturers, illumination and air-conditioning consultants before drawing up a final plan.
In addition, the team of planning committee may have consultants, field representatives, users, library staff, other staff in the organisation, construction coordinator, telecommunication staff, engineering staff, interior decorator, facilities planners, etc.
A good library building is the outcome of a close relationship between the librarian and the architect. An ideal library is a happy combination of both function and design. The librarian not only draws up the preliminary plan based on the considerations explained earlier, but he is also in touch with the architect at every stage of the plan. It may be pointed out here that for some big libraries, the practice is to invite competitive designs for the library building.