Library Planning Research

Library Building ADA Functional Requirements

When our firm (ACA) plans and programs a New Library Building we inform our clients that we will be applying ADA standards. We believe it is very important to adhere to ADA building standards set out to support access for people with disabilities.

  • Improved access to library spaces, equipment and materials should enable everyone to enjoy the freedom to seek information.
  • When we renovate a library building we do a visual assessment. We tour Library areas and/or zones to determine if it provides ADA access or if the building space restrict user flow. Usually, book shelves that haven’t been rearranged for 20 years require rethinking.

  • For example, 36″ aisle spacing between the book stacks was a standard for library design. The stacks were planned for efficiency and not for ADA compliance.
  • When planning you may consider 46″ aisles to ensure access is provided and flow is improved.
  • Other ADA compliance issues that need to be considered are the staff work areas.

  • Non-compliant circulation desks and/or workstation spaces that can not be adjusted need to be considered a priority.
  • The staff require work spaces to ensure their positive energy and professional effort is maximized.