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Monticello Public Library under construction

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      Located in Southeastern Arkansas on the site of the old Drew County Hospital, the new Monticello Public Library will reinvigorate the small town of 9,000 people with vibrant community spaces for children and adults alike. When complete, the new 20,000 square-foot facility will house the Southeast Arkansas Regional Library administrative office, as well as Monticello’s new library. In addition to the existing collections, amenities in the new library will include outdoor reading porches, children’s garden, meeting rooms, genealogy lab, teens’ area, and expanded access to computers and new electronic media.

      Monticello’s existing facility is strained and inefficient. The staff has served the community well over the years, but libraries of today are no longer static places, filled with dark, endless rows of books. The design for the new Monticello Public Library embraces a continually evolving library culture and addresses community needs. Today’s libraries offer creative, light-filled community spaces that support patrons’ activities, from family research to running a small business and anything in between. The new library will be a dynamic community space filled with kids coming in for story hour in the garden, teens gathering after school to hang out, and adults coming in check out the newest books and DVDs.

      Open, flexible spaces and natural daylighting drive the design. The open plan makes for easy wayfinding and maximizes staff efficiency. Clerestory windows throughout allow natural light deep into the spaces, and the roof is extended to protect the windows from harsh solar conditions. In an effort to respect the scale and vernacular of the surrounding neighborhood, the roof pitch is kept shallow and supported by a series of whitewashed, glue-laminated beams with a delicate steel tension rod. Made of light wood with a shallow pitch, the roof responds respectfully to the scale and vernacular of the surrounding neighborhood.

      The Monticello Public Library is scheduled to have its grand opening in Spring 2014.

    • Design concept drawing of the new Monticello Library
    • The library under construction
    • Design concept drawing of the library entry
    • The library entry under construction
    • Design concept drawing of the library interior
    • The library interior under construction
    • The library interior under construction
    • About the Author

      Sam Edelstein

      • Architect / Associate
      • sam@msrdesign.com
      • 612 375 8715
      • View Bio