Grants Remodel Underutilized Areas in Libraries

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Grants Transform Underutilized Spaces in Libraries

SAN JOSE – The planning and design of three libraries in Northern California, the Dr. The Martin Luther King Jr. Library in San Jose, the Pajaro Branch Library in Monterey County, and the Willits Library in Mendocino County have been completed. Each of the libraries will receive a $ 10,000 grant to maximize study space / MLS.

The MLS Grant Project helps underfunded public libraries transform underutilized spaces and maximize the potential for reading, reading and learning. With the grant for 2020, 20 libraries were able to apply for and finance an unused interior space per library, either through a professional design or for furniture. These ratings, furnishings, and redesigns will maximize the effectiveness of a space. Despite this year's pandemic challenges, MLS projects were able to develop further thanks to virtual planning and design.

Project funding for the past three years has come from the US Institute for Museum and Library Services. Funds will be distributed as a nationwide initiative through a partnership between the California State Library and the Southern California Library Collaborative.

“The core of the MLS project is heartwarming. fill a void in communities that cannot fully fund the necessary renovations to their libraries, ”said Christian Theyer, project manager for the Southern California Library Cooperative. “Libraries are spaces where people learn and connect. This project helps libraries better realize the potential of their spaces and better serve their communities. You can really see this in the project results. Worth it."

Earlier this year, Anderson Brulé Architects was hand-selected to work with these three libraries and is now in its second year of MLS grant design work with the intention of serving library clients and communities for years to come. Anderson Brulé Architects used digital technology for space mapping, tours, customer collaboration and design. The company's lead designer for the MLS project is Amy Crawford, who is supported by interior designers Rachel Quach [Pajaro] and Tori Dang [MLK].

"We're here to listen, interpret, and provide flexible interiors that will help libraries better serve their communities," said Crawford. “It's amazing to see the profound impact these reconfiguration and room design projects can have on a library. It's such a rewarding job. These grants were a silver lining for recipient libraries in difficult times. Once the renovation is fully completed, they will have highly functional and beautiful new spaces to welcome the community back to when they reopen. Our goal is to replace something out of date that no longer works well in a modern library with something that works better. We aim to develop designs that incorporate creativity and practicality where appropriate, with the flexibility to accommodate different types of programs and groups throughout the day. "

2020 MLS Grant Projects

The California Room of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Library is shared by the San Jose Public Library System and San Jose State University. Anderson Brulé Architects originally designed the space when the library was built in 2003. The team freshened up the space and created a more flexible design that meets the modern demands of the California Room. Anderson Brulé Architects has created more flexible open space by relocating shelves and other major functional changes, allowing research-based space to serve its intended purpose and staff to easily reconfigure the space for programs.

Anderson Brulé Architects designed the space and selected furniture and materials for the Pajaro Branch Library – Monterey County Free Libraries. Located in the Porter Vailejo Mansion, a grand 1874 residence listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the library is home to other services important to the Pajaro community such as a daycare center. The library itself is just two rooms within the house, and Anderson Brulé Architects was able to completely redesign the library with colors inspired by book covers and other artists. The building has original woodwork, stairs and moldings. The redesign has made it possible to change the library opening times to better match the building's other services.

The design goal for the Willits Library – Mendocino County Library was to take advantage of an outdated open plan library and create more comfortable small spaces tailored to groups of users, which resulted in more acoustic privacy. The aim was to redesign the library's floor plan as much as possible using existing shelves, furniture and materials to take advantage of newly purchased furniture and keep future costs lower. Anderson Brulé Architects suggested pulling shelves away from the walls to divide the space and responded to the needs of the career center by suggesting acoustically private meeting pods. The existing large service desk was retained at a lower cost than the demolition and converted into a tech hub.

Anderson Brulé Architects designed seven of the eight MLS funding projects in Northern California in 2019 and 2020. Last year's projects include the Sacramento Public Library / Martin Luther King Jr. Library, Sonoma County Library / Windsor Regional Library, South San Francisco Public Library, and Yolo County Library / Clarksburg Branch Library.

“We've been able to create a safer place for the youngest among us to play, explore, and learn in a secluded yet flexible play area. The size of the furniture, its mobility, and its quality allowed adults to stay comfortable and interact with their boys and other adults for longer, and allowed the children to stay and play longer and safer. We couldn't be happier, ”said Ray Stanley of the Sacramento Public Library.

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