7 Facilities and Funding

Library facilities are as unique as our homes. From architectural style to interior design, the options are endless. But there are common aspects and requirements that are considered when designing a library.

Designing Libraries is a great website for the planning of library buildings. Even though this website originates in Europe there is an abundance of information relevant to libraries in the United States. Explore this site to gain an understanding of considerations that need to be considered. Another major consideration is the funding you have and are likely to receive. Be sure that you are not planning something that will cause your library to go drastically over budget.

Necessary Design Aspects

Acoustics deal with the manipulation of sound in a library. What does a library sound like? How can the way that sound is handled in a space affect the user’s experience of that space? The Designing Libraries website offers a PDF which talks about good acoustics in libraries.

What could be more important than accessibility?

The Americans with Disabilities Act provides mandatory standards so that public entities are designed and constructed so that the facility (libraries are included) is readily accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities. Resilient flooring is one solution for people who have pain when they walk. It also provides comfort for those who are not needing accessibility help. This is a hallmark of accessibility accommodations. Often, they can be of service to people who are not their typical users.

See the following websites for details of these standards and library planning:

Accessibility & Universal Design:

Aesthetics are another facet to consider. Does the space of the library seem visually appealing? What feeling will patrons have when they visit and see certain dominant colors? What about the presence or absence of light? Daylighting is a trend in library facility management in which natural light is used to provide illumination for a space. This can produce a calming effect.

Signage: Did you see that? See what? Where? You might have a problem in your library if patrons are constantly asking where something is. How can signage and wayfinding tools be used to make the patron’s experience much more intuitive?


  • Barclay, D. A., & Scott, E. D. (2012). Directions to library wayfinding. American Libraries43(3/4), 36–38. (Available in LISTA: Library, Information, & Technology Abstracts database).
  • Library Signage. from Librarian Design Share


In the digital age, it is imperative that the library take full advantage of the internet and its associated resources. Two major aspects of fast and reliable internet service are the use of Optical fiber to carry the internet connection and the development of a Wide Area Network to connect computers at all branches of the library in a certain geographical area.


Libraries of all kinds need money. The amount of funding that a library receives directly influences the quality of its services. Public libraries are usually funded by some combination of local, state, and federal dollars. Academic libraries are usually funded by their college or university. School libraries are usually funded partially by their school district. Special libraries are usually funded by their parent organization.

But there are also alternative funding resources:

  • grants
  • donations
  • fines
  • book sales
  • fundraising events

Each library is unique and probably uses a combination of funding sources.



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Introduction to Library and Information Science Copyright © 2023 by College of Southern Idaho is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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