Library building may broadly be classified by their size and their relationship to the communities or organization they serve. Three broad classification of library is:
Library for education: these vary greatly in size according to the type of institution, e.g. university and polytechnic library. All these categories of libraries form an integrated part of a larger complex.
Public library: these types of library will vary considerably in size depending on the communities they serve. As well as lending and reference functions, in recent years the development of new media and technology has brought great changes and affects the basic planning of library building.
Public library can be divided into three part:
1. Central Library (for large communities)
2. County libraries (also serve as administrative and distribution centre)
3. Branch or local libraries
Research and public libraries: The function and purpose of this wide group of libraries varies to an unlimited extent.
The site: In view of its function the location of a public library in dependent on the ability to attract users and readers. It should be easily accessible and located near the centre of the activity. A pleasant environment is the ideal setting for a library.
Relationship of spaces in public library
Relationship of spaces in library
Some typical measurements
Book per single sided 900mm tier, 3/4 full, 5 shelves high
Depth of single sided tier
Height of wall shelving
Height5 of island bookcase
Height of bottom shelf from floor
Distance between freestanding bookcases
Space per reader (min)
Special Areas (reference etc)
Space per reader(min)
Special allowance for one research worker
Public reference library
Per 500 population served allow
Per 1000 population served allow
Open stack 2.3 m high shelved 3/4 full
Book under 300mm tall in these condition
Compact book storage
Work space per head of staff
Capacity of catalogue drawer
100 cards (300 files)
Weight of shelf of book, 900 mm long 3/4 full
Weight of shelf of directories or bound periodicals
Type of book
No. per 300 mm run of shelf
No. per 900mm run of shelf
Loan and fiction public libraries
literature, history, politics and economics
* The shelving should provide the maximum storage of books with minimum use of space. This Means Island should be double sided stacks, with single sided along the perimeter walls.
* The distance between stack will be dictated by access of book trolley
* The bottom shelf in closed book shack can be as near to the floor as possible (75mm) with top shelf not higher than 1.9m, thus preferred total height of stack 2.3m (7 shelves total)
Critical size for a closed rack
* In open stack book storage more room must be provided for readers for browsing and cross traffic.
* Provision of cross aisles is important in this type of shelving.
Minimum clearance from the rack
* The maximum height of the stack recommended is 2.3 m (7 shelves)
* Separate space allocation must be provided for higher or deeper books.
* If very heavy use is expected or the stack area is very large main aisles should be minimum 1.5m wide.
Recommended minimum clearance around tables
* This is the most space consuming arrangement of book storage.
* It is recommended to provide approx 900mm browsing space in front of shelves and a space of approx. 760mm beyond this as passage space- a minimum of 2560 mm between shelves.
* Stack width should be 440mm.
* The height of island stacks should not be more than 1600mm, and with full wall fixed shelving upto 1850mm, shelf thickness 20mm, and the height of the bottom shelf should be 400mm from the floor.
* Shelving recommended should have five shelves in 1850 mm and four shelves in 1600 mm high stack.
* The vertical distance between shelves should be approximately 270mm.
* In addition to open reading areas, provision of study carrels will be necessary for servicing long term readers.
* The provision and type of such carrel will vary with degree of separation and privacy needed, and type of equipment needed by the users of this facility.
* Carrels should be equipped with ample provisions of power point, lockable cupboards etc.
* Some carrels will have to be sound
Critical sizes for open stacks
* The recommended size of each individual table is 900 X 600 mm. if tables are arranged in rows this will have to be increased to 900 X900 mm.
* Each reader allowance in reading area should be 2.3 m² giving him the share of circulation within the room.
* A long table can accommodate upto 12 readers: the width of such a table should be 1200mm.
* Seating should not be allowed at the end of the table.
* It is recommended that long tables should have central division
Recommended size for reading tables
Reader service area
* All reader area will be served by staff centers who will supervise all readers’ activities.
* In small libraries all these services will be conducted from a centrally located desk.
* In large libraries the issue and return counter may be separated
Bottle neck counter: One person control in quite period
Bottle neck counter: three people at a time
* In small libraries it is provided at the reception desk. The duty of an information service is to give bibliographical assistance to the readers’ quest.
* Position and numbers of such information stations depends on the size and the type library, but essentially it must be close to catalogue and bibliographic stocks
Materials in the library
Generally the books will be housed in two areas of the library
1. Open area- those are accessible to the public and certain users of the library.
2. Closed area- those which are not accessible by the public but only used by the staff.
The books used in the open areas could be very briefly divided into the following:
1. Bibliographical 2.General reference
3. Special reference 4.Aduld Lending
5. Children Lending 6.Local History
7. Music 8. Arts
Books which are kept in closed areas and are accessible by staff, are the surplus books or stored books and may be divided as follows:
1. Local stack for 3-9 above
2. General Stack
3. Compact shelving stacks
4. Special collection
5. Extension services stacks
Facilities for the user
The other facilities may be as follows:
1. Document copying by means of photographic equipment or Xerox.
2. The building may be equipped with telecommunication facilities i.e. cameras and television screen.
3. It is also necessary to obtain information as to whether there is intension to provide facilities for art and poster displays and exhibitions, which would include for example display of poster for local activities.