Library Journal Design Institute West: More Green

On Friday, May 9, 2008 librarians, architects, planners, and vendors gathered at the San Francisco Public Library for Library Journal’s Design Institute West: More Green. Co-sponsored by the San Francisco Public Library and the California State Library, the all day event featured a series of green-themed presentations, panels, and breakout sessions during which attendees conferred on the latest developments, options, strategies, concerns and solutions relating to sustainable design.

The first panel, “Sustainable Design for a Library—and a Community,” moderated by Susan Hildreth, focused on making the library an example of sustainable design and using the library as a catalyst for green living throughout the community. Panelists included: Toni Garvey, City Librarian, Phoenix Public Library; Stephanie Kingsnorth, Pfeiffer Partners Architects, Inc; David Schnee, Group 4 Architecture, Research + Planning, Inc; Scott Shell, EHDD Architecture.

The second panel, “Green With (or without) LEED,” moderated by Jill Bourne, Deputy City Librarian, San Francisco Public Library, addressed the nitty-gritty of sustainable design by identifying “green” priorities, and initial costs that lead to future savings and implementation (to go for LEED or not). Panelists included: Dennis Humphries, Humphries Poli Architects; Kay Johnson, Director for Facilities Development, King County Library System; Tim Kraft, Associate Principal and Sustainable Design Practice Leader, PSA Dewberry; David D. Ross, Principal, BSA Architects.

Jared Blumenfeld, Director of the San Francisco Department of the Environment, was the luncheon speaker. During his presentation in San Francisco City Hall, Blumenfeld called libraries “one-stop green shop[s].” “They’re close to the community and they have the solution to any questions you can ask,” he said.

In six breakout sessions led by sponsoring architects, participants explored different design problems that attendees had submitted in advance. Among the libraries in the group were: Azusa City Library which worked with Group 4 Architecture on ideas for the library’s co-joined library/senior center; Contra Costa County Library which collaborated with EHDD Architects on Pleasant Hill’s transition from the county central library to a community library; Curtis School Library which worked with PSA –Dewberry on a potential expansion; Fullerton Public Library which worked with BSA Architects on infusing light and curb appeal into a planned expansion; Teton County Library (Wyoming) which worked with Humphries Poli Architects on a new branch that will be the county’s first LEED building; and the University of California, Berkeley Moffitt Library which worked with Pfeiffer Partners Architects to transform terraces into actual learning spaces.

Attendees also had an opportunity to network with architects, and to see green products from several vendor sponsors, among them 3M, Agati Furniture, DEMCO Library Interiors, David Edward, and LucaLight.

For more information about the Library Journal institute, please visit



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