Impacts on library function and design

The relevance of public libraries to contemporary communities is evident.

Public libraries attract high levels of use from a broad range of users from all ages and backgrounds.

In designing public infrastructure, including public libraries, it is important to consider the changing social and demographic trends evident within the community and how these may affect the provision and delivery of services to the community. The Influences section includes factors to consider when planning a new public library building and services. These are modified versions of the People Places trends. We see them as influences on library planning rather than trends because trends will change more frequently and may come and go.

Social trends are still extremely important to consider when planning a library building or service. Library organisations and other commentators regularly publish information on trends that are affecting library services. These trends are likely to have an impact on the design and function of public libraries and should be monitored by anyone considering a new or refurbished library building.

In this section

Competition and marketing

Libraries face growing competition from other information providers and must be proactive in marketing themselves.

Connection and opportunity

Digital technology provides opportunities for learning, collaboration and capacity building.

Library as community place

Public libraries are valuable spaces as community hubs.

Programs and partnerships

Programs and partnerships provide the opportunity for libraries to strengthen communities.

Regeneration and prosperity

Public libraries can shape and drive their communities.