The New Public Library is an in-depth design study of an exemplary collection of recent public libraries, and the historical precedents that have informed and inspired their development. An introductory overview presents seven critical themes that characterize public library design, past and present, highlighting the expressive architectural potential of this unique and important building type. A survey of over 40 historically significant libraries traces the development of the building type over time, with a primary focus on precedents from the US and northern Europe, where the modern public library originated, and its design has been most comprehensively developed. A selection of nearly 50 contemporary projects from the past 30 years focuses on the most current developments in public library design, with a diverse and varied collection of work by over 35 regional, national, and international design firms. Highly visual in its presentation, the study includes 885 color photographs and illustrations, and 195 scale drawings.

chapter |6 pages


part I|136 pages


chapter Chapter 1|22 pages

European Influences – Before 1800

chapter Chapter 2|20 pages

Early Public Libraries in the U.S. – 1800 to 1880s

chapter Chapter 3|12 pages

Early Beaux-Arts Libraries – 1850s to 1910s

chapter Chapter 4|8 pages

Carnegie Libraries – 1890s to 1920s

chapter Chapter 6|16 pages

Early Modern Libraries – 1920s and 1930s

chapter Chapter 7|24 pages

Postwar Modern Libraries – 1950s to 1970s

chapter Chapter 8|16 pages

Postmodern Libraries – 1970s and 1980s

part II|282 pages


chapter Chapter 9|44 pages

Central Municipal and Regional Libraries

chapter Chapter 10|86 pages

Urban Neighborhood Branch Libraries

chapter Chapter 11|76 pages

Suburban Neighborhood Branch and Community Libraries

chapter Chapter 13|55 pages

Libraries in Northern Europe