Reading and references

Links to key documents are included throughout People Places. This section provides additional references and links to further reading for planning a library building.

Building planning and design

ISO/TR 11219: Information and documentation
Qualitative conditions and basic statistics for library buildings – Space, function and design

This technical report from the International Organization of Standardization provides guidance for planning library buildings. It includes information on user areas, collection storage, floor loading, security and acoustics. The publication details storage conditions for a range of collection material, outlining temperature and humidity requirements. It also includes space requirements for collection items and shelving. The majority of specifications align with those described in People Places. Where they differ, People Places recommendations should be followed.

The publication is available for loan through the Public Library Services branch of the State Library, please contact Kate O'Grady. It can also be purchased through Standards Australia webstore  - Techstreet and SAI Global .

Designing libraries

Designing libraries is a UK based website with information on library building projects from the United Kingdom and Ireland, as well as featured libraries and international case studies. The resources section links to library image galleries, articles and guidelines. Partners and sponsors include library organisations, architects and library suppliers.

The value handbook

Although The value handbook was published in 2006 it includes a lot of  information that is still relevant to the planning of a library building.  Published by the UK Government's Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment (CABE) it explores how public sector organisations can get the most from local buildings and spaces. It provides information about the benefits of good design and the types of value created by the built environment. 

Publications on indyreads

Indyreads is an ebook and eaudio platform available through NSW public libraries. It provides NSW public library members access to independent Australian and international titles. A selection of books on library planning and design are listed below. Search indyreads for additional relevant publications.

Better By Design: an introduction to planning, designing and developing library buildings
Authors: Ayub Khan and Stella Thebridge
Publisher: Facet Publishing
ISBN: 9781783305704

Better Library Design: Ideas from Library Journal
Editors: Rebecca T. Miller and Barbara A. Genco
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield
ISBN: 9781442239616

Constructing Library Buildings that work
Author: Fred Schlipf
Publisher: ALA Editions
ISBN: 9780838947616

Planning Optimal Library Spaces: Principles, processes and practices
Authors: David R. Moore II and Eric C. Shoaf
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield
ISBN: 9781538109410

Organizing Library Collections: Theory and Practice
Author: Gretchen L. Hoffman
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield
ISBN: 9781538108529

Library design examples

As part of the development of People Places 3rd Edition, FJMT architects compiled examples of library designs. Although these images are from 2010, they still provide some inspiration and ideas for library design.

American Libraries
Australian Libraries
European Libraries
Scandinavian Libraries

Public Library News

The summer 2017/18 edition of Public Library News was titled Library buildings and spaces. It includes articles on a range of library building and renovation projects, from brand new, large-scale civic developments to small-scale refurbishments on a tight budget. Many of the articles are based on presentations from the Library Spaces seminar that was held at the State Library in 2017.

Library Buildings in Europe

Library buildings in Europe has been developed by the Liber (Association of European Research Libraries) Architecture Group. Library projects include new buildings, renovations, extensions and internal refurbishments. You can browse library projects or filter by specific categories. Details of floor area, shelving capacity, seating and number of staff are provided as well as photos and project description.

Library trends and futures scenarios

Future Libraries

Th Future libraries report, from Arup, discusses library trends and explores user scenarios. It brings together information from a series of workshops held in 2015 in Sydney, Melbourne, London and San Francisco. Arup is an independent firm of designers, planners, engineers, architects, consultants and technical specialists, working across the built environment.

Library of the Future

The American Library Association's Center for the Future of Libraries has developed a collection of trends relevant to libraries and librarianship. The website is designed to help library staff understand how trends are developing and why they matter. Each trend is updated as new reports and articles are made available and new trends are added as they are developed. 


Good Environmental Choice Australia (GECA)  is a not for profit organisation that creates solutions for sustainable consumption and production.  GECA certified products can help you make informed purchasing decisions. The section on green building  provides information on furniture, paints and finishes, cleaning products, flooring and other building materials that have been classified as environmentally sound.

People Places - previous edition

The 2012 edition of People Places: A guide for public library buildings in New South Wales is available as an historical reference.