Collaborative Library Design: From Planning to Impact. By Peter Gisolfi. Chicago: ALA Editions, 2018. 146 p. Paper $74.99 (ISBN-13: 978-0-8389-1717-6).

Librarians, administration, and architects will gain insight into library building design from Collaborative Library Design by architect Peter Gisolfi. The book discusses ten different libraries that Gisolfi’s architectural firm was involved in designing. A wide variety of projects were discussed, including remodels, new buildings, and large, small, public, academic, and school libraries.

Each of the ten libraries has a chapter devoted to it, and each chapter is divided into three essays. The first essay is written by some sort of administrator for the library, such as a principal, board member, or trustee, and discusses the planning process for the project. The second essay is written by Gisolfi himself on the design of the new space. A librarian wrote the third essay on the impact the design changes have made for the community. Many of the essays end with advice for others who will be taking on a building or remodeling project in the future.

Each chapter stresses the idea of collaboration—not just with administrators and architects but also with librarians, staff, users, and neighbors. Also discussed are suggestions for how to approach raising funds and convincing unwilling constituents that the project will benefit the community.

As a whole, this book is an easy yet fascinating read. The pictures of the different libraries are beautiful, and they truly help the reader understand the difference a remodel or new building can make for a library’s atmosphere. Occasional repetition occurred within a chapter, but only enough to make the reader pause for a moment. While it does not provide in-depth coverage for any of the libraries discussed, this book does provide insight into items that should be considered before a library begins a large construction project.—Megan Hasler, Technical Services Librarian, East Central University, Ada, Oklahoma


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