Library Showcase: Ramsey County Roseville Library - Interview with Staff

Library Showcase: Ramsey County Roseville Library - Interview with Staff

Lisa Block (Independent Researcher, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-4739-8.ch027
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Location Address

  • Ramsey County Library, Roseville Branch

  • 2180 Hamline Avenue

  • North Roseville, MN 55113

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Project Introduction

The Roseville Library renovation added nearly 26,000 square feet to the original 70,000 square foot structure through the addition of a second floor. The decision to expand up and not out saved the library money and leaves room for extra parking. New features include an updated exterior, clerestory windows, rain gardens, and native plantings.

  • Please describe the library renovation or new construction project to be featured in the American Libraries 2011 Library Design Showcase.

The Roseville library was an addition and renovation to a building originally opened in 1993. The library’s use had outgrown the original building and the original building was uninspiring and dreary. The new design added a second level to the existing building, added parking to the north side of the site, moved the building entry from the southwest corner to the west side of the building to allow equal access from parking on the north and south sides of the building, and redesigned the building interior (adding a teen area and greatly expanding the children’s area). The building interior was completely reconstructed, and the building exterior was largely reconstructed, reusing the original brick facades.

  • Why was the project needed?

Use of the original building had outgrown the facility. The library was the busiest in the state prior to renovation and expansion, and the original facility did not allow patrons to easily access the materials and services they were demanding from the library. Study and meeting space was in high demand and not available in the original building.

  • How did technology use or demand for technology influence the space planning for the new/renovated library?

Public access computers are located in five banks throughout the library. Their inclusion in the building program was a primary part of the renovated library plan. There is a bank of computers in the Marketplace area inside the building entry on the first floor. There are two in the adult services area on the second level of the building. There is one in the children’s area. And there is one in the teen area. The design and location of these computers was a significant driver in the layout and design of the new space. They were located to be both very visible and well controlled (visually) from public service desks. Customer demand for interactive technology drove the decision to include special areas in the teen and children’s spaces.

  • Did patron needs fit into the planning/design process? If so, how?

The building program was constructed around patron needs. The adult collections increased only nominally while the children’s and teen areas were greatly expanded from the existing. Public access computers were increased significantly. In addition, the layout of the public areas of the library were designed to maximize the convenience and comfort of the library users. Natural light is abundant throughout the building. The primary areas of the building are arranged in a very compact and self-evident manner. Public seating areas are arranged around the building perimeter, allowing library users access to natural light and views.

  • What has been the patron reaction to the new or renovated library?

Patron reaction has been positive and significant. The library has received many compliments on the new facility – related both to the materials and services offered and the quality of the space. And the ultimate measure of the reaction to the new facility is that patron use is up 15% from before the renovation.

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