Managing the project for each phase of the building.

Planning a new library building is a complex process. It is likely to take many years from the first thought that a new library is needed to the opening of a library building. During this process there are many issues that need to be considered and many steps that need to be taken. 

There will be some similarity in functional areas from one library to the next, but no two libraries are the same. The planning process is the opportunity to design a library that is unique, suits the needs of your community, can provide relevant services and reflect the identity of the local area. 

The People Places website includes this Planning section, but every section has information or tools to help inform the planning and design of your new or refurbished library.

In this section

Community needs

For public libraries, the greatest emphasis remains on the services and collections provided and how it meets the needs of the surrounding community.

Starting your library project: working group

Once a library project is identified as being required and approved to commence, a project framework must be implemented.

New building, refurbishment or mobile?

Before starting the project, determine whether a library building or a mobile library is best for your community. Consider options for refurbishment and sites for a new building.

Co-location and joint use libraries

Prior to determining the need for and size of a library development project, it is essential to consider whether there is a need for a co-located or joint use library.

Developing a building brief

The library brief outlines the requirements of a library service and the new or extended building.

Understanding the building design and construction phases

It is important to understand the building design phases and the information required at each stage.

Selecting the architect, project manager and other consultants

Selecting an architect, consultants and project team will be key to the success of your new or refurbished library building.

Funding and costs

The cost of all components of a new or refurbished library need to be considered in the planning process. Identifying sources of funding are also key to this process.

Staffing requirements

Provision must be made for staffing when planning for a new or extended library building.

Collection plan

An improved library collection, along with a library collection plan, is an important component of a library development project.

Developing a Local Technology Plan

The pace of technological change is being felt in public libraries. These changes influence library design, function and management.

Workplace health and safety: risk and opportunity in design

Libraries must be designed to ensure the health, safety and welfare of everyone who uses the building, including staff and visitors.

Evaluation: post construction and post occupancy

Following the completion of the building, the library is ready for occupation. This could also be the appropriate time to evaluate the new library building.