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Libraries as a building type have been subjected to substantial changes in particular in the past ten years.
Milestones such as Rem Koolhaas' Seattle Central Library from 2004 reinvented the typology completely and reflected a development from elitist temple of learning to a public living room.
Hybrids between library and department store or theater were conceived.
Today, the ubiquity of electronic devices and media needs to be taken into account by the designer: every new library has areas without any books now.
This work of reference explains systematically all technological and planning requirements of library design.
Special features such as RFID, signage, acoustics or specific structural load issues are explained in texts by experts from the fields of architecture and library science.
Finally, approximately 40 best-practice case studies of contemporary library design are documented extensively.
They are organized in four categories - national libraries, large public libraries, small public libraries, university libraries - and comprise high-profile examples such as Jo Coenen's Openbare Bibliotheek Amsterdam, Alvaro Siza's Public Library Viana do Castelo in Portugal or Mecanoo's Library of Birmingham from 2013.
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