Updated November 2018
ACRL and LLAMA receive many inquiries about numeric standards for academic library buildings. While there are no specific national quantitative standards, there are a myriad of standards and guidelines, as well as “statements”, “rules” and “criteria,” that are important documents to consider when remodeling, renovating or building a library building. The American Library Association keeps a current, comprehensive list of these standards and documents. The list can be accessed at: http://www.ala.org/tools/guidelines/standardsguidelines.
While reviewing this list to find the specific standards and guidelines pertinent to your project, here are a few simple questions that warrant your consideration:
- Does the library provide well-planned, secure, and sufficient space to meet the perceived needs of staff and users?
- Are building mechanical systems properly designed and maintained to control temperature and humidity at recommended levels?
- What are the perceptions of users regarding the provision of conducive study spaces, including a sufficient number of seats and varied types of seating?
- Is there enough space for current library collections and future growth of print resources?
- Does the staff have sufficient workspace, and is it configured to promote efficient operations for current and future needs?
- Does the library's signage facilitate use and navigation of the facilities?
- Does the library provide ergonomic workstations for its users and staff?
- Are electrical and network wiring sufficient to meet the needs associated with current and future electronic access?
- Does the library meet the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act?
- Are facilities provided to distance learners fully considered?