7 August 2020

Can old buildings be turned into libraries? A sneak peek into ENSULIB’s upcoming open access book

How has IFLA’s Environment, Sustainability and Libraries Special Interest Group (ENSULIB) engaged with the IFLA Strategy? By writing an open access book that will inspire the profession, aligning specifically to IFLA’s Key Initiative 2.1.

Key Initiative 2.1

The book titled “New Libraries in Old Buildings: The Creative Reuse of Disused Structures” and edited by Petra Hauke, Karen Latimer and Robert Niess, will be published in 2020. Stay tuned!

Sustainability and environmental awareness are key issues globally, with the library world committed to playing its part in protecting the planet. Implementing sustainable strategies is now well established in many libraries.

The new book will be published in open access by De Gruyter and is made possible through the collaboration between ENSULIB and IFLA’s Library Buildings and Equipment Section (LBES). It takes sustainability one step further and shows how sensitively transforming existing historic buildings into exciting, functional and beautiful libraries is both a challenge and a highly fulfilling undertaking.

Take a sneak peek of what the book will feature:

(Before) The interior of the abandoned former Locomotive factory in Wildau, Germany, in 2002 © Chestnut_Niess Architects BDA; (After) The conversion into a library for the Technical University Wildau, Germany © Werner Huthmacher.

(Before) The exterior of the building in 2002, before restoration, Wildau, Germany, in 2002 © Chestnut_Niess Architects BDA; (After) The exterior of the new Library of the Technical University Wildau, Germany © Werner Huthmacher.

A wide range of creative adaptations are discussed including barns, a courtyard, churches, factories, fire stations, a grocery store, a hospital, locomotive halls, a post office, a cattle market and a slaughterhouse.

All case studies demonstrate that the reuse of existing buildings is not only sustainable, but also an effective way of designing attractive and efficient libraries.

The combination of historic buildings, new interventions and an end use of thoroughly modern libraries provides a new insight. It is hoped that the book will provide inspiration for others to follow.

ENSULIB is the hard-working and productive Environment, Sustainability and Libraries Special Interest Group currently on the brink of transitioning to IFLA Section status. If you like ENSULIB’s work, support this endeavour by signing up to become an Institutional member of the section.

Are you an IFLA member or want to become one? ENSULIB must reach 40 members by 27 August 2020. To support ENSULIB, please see the full details and Letter of Intention on the ENSULIB website.

Stay connected with ENSULIB:

ENSULIB on Facebook  ENSULIB on twitter

Environment, Sustainability and Libraries, Library Buildings and Equipment, IFLA Professional Units, IFLA Strategy, IFLAFromHome, WeAreIFLA