People Places

A guide for Public Libraries in NSW

People Places was originally co-authored by Heather Nesbitt and Mark Floate whilst a practice director at Bligh Voller Nield. Commissioned and published by the State Library of NSW in 2000, the guide has become an important planning tool to assist in the development of public library buildings.

With rapid changes occurring within modern communities, it was resolved that the document be revisited, evaluated and revised every five years. This was considered to be an essential component of good planning and good library management. The second edition was published in 2005 with the third edition being revised and republished in 2012.

To ensure that the guide provides the type of information which is relevant to a broad range of stakeholders, People Places discusses not only issues involved in the actual design of a library but also the process required to achieve a successful library development. It provides information based on a number of library projects throughout NSW and discussions with stakeholders involved first-hand in these projects. Both the pitfalls and the successes are highlighted, as a library development project, like any building project, can be long, complex and difficult. It is hoped that People places will continue to help improving and expediting the process for all stakeholders involved.

The guide provides information on:

  • The importance of public libraries in our community
  • Future trends which impact on library design
  • How to determine the need and size for a new or extended library building
  • What issues need to be considered in planning for a new or extended library building
  • Establishing a process which will take the library development project from inception to
  • Designing and building a public library which meets the community needs both now and
    in the future

People Places focuses on new innovative models for library provision and the integration of modern technology into library functions and design. This deliberate approach is in response to the strong push from stakeholders to ensure that all new and extended library buildings grasp the many opportunities available to them to provide a facility and service which is relevant to future generations. Public libraries need to be planned and built not only to meet the needs of our community today but also for the future.

Download the 2012 edition: PDF iconPeople places: A guide for public library buildings in NSW