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Harvard Graduate School of Design

The Future of Library Design: Physical Libraries in the Digital Information Landscape

Next dates

Aug 5—7
3 days
Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States
USD 1950
USD 650 per day


Explore emerging models and evolving changes in library environments and how changes in service and information technology influence library facility design. Intended for architects and librarians, library staff and trustees, this comprehensive course examines the role of the physical library in the changing digital information landscape.

Program activities include lectures, discussions, team-based library planning and design exercises, virtual tours of distant libraries and actual tours of new local libraries, and the evaluation of recent and proposed new library designs. Program topics include: new models, new service goals, library programming and planning considerations; space planning standards; library zoning for program functional adjacencies and synergies, building community support, and sustainable design/LEED for libraries.

The course covers the theoretical and the practical in an interactive and participatory class format. Reviews of cutting edge systems and emerging library trends are balanced with an examination of the process, budget, and standards required to bring a project's cutting edge conceptual goals, whether in new construction, renovation or expansion.

Learning Objectives

  • Interpret emerging trends in library design and library interiors;
  • Recognize the impact of new developments in information technology and equipment;
  • Understanding of the process of working with library consultants, architects, and contractors;
  • Awareness of library programming and planning considerations; space planning standards; program functional adjacencies, synergies, and library zoning;
  • Apply sustainable design/LEED strategies for libraries.

Who should attend

Architects, Interior Designers, Librarians, Library staff, and Library Trustees.


Jeffrey M. Hoover, AIA, Principal, Tappé Architects, Boston, has been actively involved in library design for the past 25 years. He is Principal and Library Design Director for the architectural firm of Tappé Architects, Inc. and responsible for dozens of library projects from historic library re...
Elisabeth Martin, FAIA, architect, interior designer and library consultant, is a principal at MDA designgroup, New York, NY. She has focused on library planning and design over her career as an architect, planner, and educator. Prior to forming MDA, she directed capital programs for NYC librarie...
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