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There is an increasing focus on the public library’s role as a place of and for the community that should have at its heart the needs of that community. In this respect, the development of new or renovated public libraries offers an opportunity for the design of these new buildings to reflect the needs and wants of the communities they serve. The aim of this project was to develop an in-depth understanding of the views and approaches of both librarians and architects involved in public library development projects in Australia. Using data gathered through semi-structured interviews this paper explores notions of community-focused design and co-design and the implications of involving the community in the process of library design for six public library development projects. Participants described a range of community engagement activities, relating benefits and challenges to the community consultation process. However, it was noted that there was also a curated nature to this input, and there was little evidence of community engagement extending beyond consultation to truly participatory design.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of the Australian Library and Information Association
Publication statusPublished - 08 Sep 2022


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