New York Library Association. - The eBulletin

Eight New York Library Buildings Receive National Recognition


Eight of the 26 libraries recognized by the American Library Association for library design were from New York State specifically New York City.  The Library Showcase is the association’s annual celebration of new or renovated libraries and the Library Interior Design Award is a biennial award that recognizes excellence in aesthetics, design, creativity, function, and satisfaction of the client’s objective.

The libraries that were featured in the September/October, 2014 issue of American Libraries are:

Open Spaces Category

New York Public Library, Mariners Harbor Branch
Photo by Nahoo Kubota






Mariners Harbor’s single-story plan minimizes the library’s small by emphasizing spaces.  Expansive open rooms with large window featuring comfortable, relaxed reading and tech spaces among low stacks.

Queens (NY) Public Library, Glen Oaks Branch
Photo by Nahoo Kubota







The new Glen Oaks branch is twice the size of the previous building and provides reading rooms, and computers throughout.  The use of space continues outside with a landscape plaza and exterior reading garden open to the public.

Reuse and Restoration Category

New York Public Library, Stapleton Branch
Photo by Naho Kubota







NYPL renovated the existing 1907 Carnegie Library in Stapleton, Staten Island, blending old and new by adding a new 7,000 square foot modern addition alongside the older building.  The addition is constructed of glue-laminated Douglas Fir posts, beams, joists, and roof.  The older adjacent building was transformed into a children’s reading room.

For the Kids Category

New York Public Library, Washington Heights Branch
Photo by Naho Kubota






The Washington Heights Branch children’s reading room encompasses the entirety of the branch’s second floor.  The open space features a loop of shelving and casework that encircles the reading area, provides seating at each window, and features self-checkout stations.  Couches are paired with window seats to create intimate spaces within the room.

Disaster Recovery Category

Brooklyn Public Library, Coney Island Branch
Photo by Emily Andrews








After being severely damaged by Superstorm Sandy in 2012 and flooded with five feet of water, the Coney Island branch was rebuilt to reflect the history of the area.  The walls are filled with murals of archival images, and salvaged planks from the boardwalk are integrated into the new ceiling.

Interior Design

Public Libraries 30,000 Square Feet and Smaller Category

Queens Library, Jamaica, New York
Photo by Michael Moran







Single Space Design Category

New York Public Library, Hamilton Grange Teen Center, New York City
Photo by Rice + Lipka Architects








On the Boards Category

New Law Library of Harlem, New York City
Photo by Multiplicities