How to Turn a Place Around: A Handbook for Creating Successful Public Spaces by Project for Public Spaces
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This is a pacy and engaging read. This, unsurprisingly, is a book about public spaces, and generally outdoor space, however there are many elements which are applicable for public (and other) libraries as well. In a description of Discovery Park in Houston, TX, it says that it is 'not enough to have just one great destination on a great park - you need at least 10 of them to create a truly lively place' (p91). This is relevant for libraries as you need different kinds of spaces within the one building. It is also not a new idea that libraries need different kinds of spaces, for example see this produced by my work place.
I have been following Project For Public Spaces for a while, but it was watching a recent Victorian public library conference about library buildings which encouraged me to read this. There are place making principles including creating a place not a design, and the importance of community consultation, and evaluation. Place making is also continuous as communities change over time.
I found it was helpful reading this book, because of the different locations explored as I could then think about the implications for libraries. I will need to read it again, but that will be enjoyable.
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