Reimagining the Public Library as Public Space
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Once regarded as the public’s center of knowledge and information, public libraries today are challenged by the rise of mobile technology and the Internet. Information behavior of everyday library patrons have transformed to rely on instant access of information through Google search instead of the resources housed in their local libraries. The focus of public library design is shifting from storing & protecting valuable resources (books) to the experience of an active public space of learning, engaging and reading. This thesis reimagines a public library branch in East Baltimore City by evaluating the architecture of public library examples of the past and of today. By understanding the user experience of the three key elements of public library design – procession, services & flexible space - a new public library design that engages and responds to the local community can be proposed.