Library Space Design in the 21st Century

Library services are evolving quickly, and many times our facilities were not designed to accommodate new service types. This course will provide an overview of trends in library design, outline techniques in assessment of space needs, and present ways to reclaim and reconfigure underused space for new functions. The lasting impact of the Covid-19 pandemic will also be considered. A real-life project in the student’s library will allow the practical application of concepts learned.

At a glance

When: Feb 13 – Mar 26, 2023 (6 weeks)

Where: Online & Asynchronous (see more info)

Cost: $250 (Register 2 weeks early for 10% off!)

CE Credit: 2.0 CEUs/20 LEUs

Program: #306023

Questions? Email the CE Team

Register online

Please use the online registration option if possible. If you need to make alternate arrangements, email ce-info@ischool.wisc.eduAlternate registration options may result in delays.

Payment and Cancellation Policy

Course details


  • Library space planning overview
  • User experience and Design Thinking as applied to physical spaces
  • Trends in library spaces, including the lasting impact of the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Assessment of space needs and existing space
  • Practical application

Expectations: Students will watch/read weekly assignments and participate in online discussions. During the last two weeks, students will choose and assess an existing space in their library and develop a plan for reconfiguration to provide a new or changed service, with online discussion of the process and short description of the final plan.

Lauren Stara is a registered architect and former public library director. She has taught courses in library planning and design at two graduate library programs and has presented at library conferences across the US and Canada. She currently works as a Library Building Specialist at the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners.