Managing Facilities for Results: Optimizing Space for Services

Susan Cleyle (Memorial University of Newfoundland, Canada)

The Electronic Library

ISSN: 0264-0473

Article publication date: 11 April 2008




Cleyle, S. (2008), "Managing Facilities for Results: Optimizing Space for Services", The Electronic Library, Vol. 26 No. 2, pp. 276-277.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

This terrific book is part of the American Library Association PLA results series. It is a workbook designed for public libraries, large and small to plan for space changes. It is extremely well researched, and prepared. The author, Cheryl Bryan is a librarian and consultant who specializes in long‐range planning and building programs. This experience is evident throughout the entire publication. One can envision the space project leader carrying this resource from meeting to meeting as a space project progresses. It is a resource designed to be consulted at all points of a project.

The book is arranged around five chapters:

  1. 1.

    Project definition and planning.

  2. 2.

    Committee orientation and data collection organization.

  3. 3.

    Resources required and allocated to support the activity.

  4. 4.

    Gap analysis and recommendations.

  5. 5.

    Prepare recommendations and present reports.

What is refreshing about this breakdown is that as the discussion progresses, eight project tasks are identified. Within each task are a series of steps the project leader should follow. For example, the reader will be reading the background discussion and “theory” of the text and to assist with the practical application will encounter a “Task list box” with the required task and its corresponding steps in a shaded box. This is an incredibly practical approach that actually tells the leader “how” to get the job done. Another shaded box series that appears in the book is the “Level of effort notes”. These boxes are full of helpful tips and advice that the reader can use when completing the task/steps. These are clearly “lessons of the master” and should not be ignored by the reader.

Clearly, the author has completed many space projects. The helpfulness of this book does not end with the “Task lists” or “Level of effort notes”. Three “Tool kits” are also included. They include “Calculating square footage”; “Assessing your library's physical message” and “Americans with Disabilities Act requirements”. Finally there are 23 work forms covering such areas as: “Gaps and options”; “Facility resources – data elements”; etc.

This book is so well designed it will be used over and over again. The really nice thing is that the advice transcends public libraries and would be useful in any library setting. It is an exceptional resource that should be required reading for any librarian or administrator planning a renovation or move. The key is to get the word out to all libraries that this resource is available.

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