Library Showcase: Dauphin County Library System, Hummelstown Community Library - Interview with Wendy Mosteiko/Alexander Design Studio

Library Showcase: Dauphin County Library System, Hummelstown Community Library - Interview with Wendy Mosteiko/Alexander Design Studio

Lisa Block (Independent Researcher, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-4739-8.ch020
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Location Address

  • Dauphin County Library System

  • Hummelstown Community Library

  • 205 South John Street

  • Hummelstown, Pennsylvania 17036

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Project Introduction

The new Hummelstown Community Library is located at the site of a historic hotel destroyed in a fire. The library building makes references to the hotel in its design ad feature board and batten siding and an exposed timber ceiling inside.

  • Was the Hummelstown Community Library modeled after another library? If yes, which library and why?

No, it was conceived as a reaction to its programming and the constraints of a long narrow tapered site.

  • If it was an original design, please describe the vision for this new library.

Sitting on the site of a previously demolished Victorian era hotel, the library occupies the main intersection with similar massing and materials, and then transforms to a more playful series of masses to the rear. These forms echo the more traditional nature of the adult areas, with the children and youth occupying the more modern end.

  • Why was this new library needed?

The existing library was in a converted community building that was inaccessible on the lower level, too small, and in a hidden part of the community.

  • How did new technologies (and their use by patrons) influence the space planning of this new library?

The new library has more than five times the public access terminals as the previous library and they were integrated into a “digital” spine that runs through the length of the building making them prominent and clearly integrated into the design. The circulation desk is at the center of the spine.

  • What has been the patron reaction to the new Hummelstown Community Library?

Usage has increased substantially, and there is a lot of civic pride as patrons walk across the bricks engraved with their family names, evidence of the widespread participation in seeing it funded and built.

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