Location: East Lansing, Michigan
For some, a library is the singular source of technology and information. Libraries are an essential resource in communities. In late 2014, public funding was not available to renovate the outdated East Lansing Public Library (ELPL); however, through a generous private donation, ELPL was able to update its ineffective layout in favor of an improved design that embraces all the flexibility and versatility of a truly modern library.
In this first phase of a four-part venture to reinvent the facility, the design team renovated the library’s entire 18,000-square-foot public area while, importantly, strictly adhering to the project budget. Among important considerations were current and emerging technologies, physical and digital collections, age-specific needs, and expansion capabilities.
Today, patrons can enjoy a cup of coffee at the Cyber Café near the library entrance before proceeding to the cozy community rooms or the inspiring maker space. They encounter improved views past lowered shelving and large book displays. Lounge areas, ample computer stations, supplementary data ports, and self-checkout desks open the entire community area to exploration. Instead of a stationary circulation counter, mobile information stations make staff accessible. Carefully selected furnishings promote comfort and space intent, and a new sprinkler fire protection system ensures safety for visitors.
Relocated from the front of the library to the back, the bright, playful children’s section has a significantly reduced potential for walk-offs. The distinct teen area offers a sense of independence and exploration to young visitors, while the ever-expanding and changing collection of information promises new experiences to even the most advanced of library-goers.
Located mere minutes from MSU and the Capitol Building, ELPL is at the heart of Michigan. Complete since spring 2016, this renovated building speaks to the state’s complicated economic history and its bright future.