Video: Design Showcase and Policy Symposium

In order to encourage policymakers, business leaders, and librarians to think strategically about how to support and improve library services in New York, The Architectural League is collaborating with the Center for an Urban Future on Re-envisioning Branch Libraries, a design study that articulates new architectural, financial, and programmatic possibilities for New York City’s branch libraries.

In a public design showcase and policy symposium on December 4th, 2014, the five participating design teams presented their strategies for re-envisioning New York City’s branch libraries. The presentations addressed three key themes: integrating libraries into New York City’s housing and community development goals; reconfiguring libraries to meet community needs; and developing new ideas for expanding the impact of branch libraries. Panel sessions comprised of policymakers, librarians, researchers, and community advocates responded to each group of presentations to discuss how to put the teams’ innovative design ideas into action and what barriers stand in the way of success. The symposium was generously sponsored by the Charles H. Revson Foundation and hosted by the Japan Society.

Video documentation of the full symposium follows.

WELCOME AND INTRODUCTION
Understanding the Possibilities of Branch Libraries
Gifford Miller, Founder, Miller Strategies
Julie Sandorf, President, The Charles H. Revson Foundation
Jonathan Bowles, Executive Director, Center for an Urban Future

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SESSION ONE
Libraries and Community Development

Integrating Libraries into New York City’s Housing and Community Development Goals

Introduction
David Giles, Research Director, Center for an Urban Future

Design Presentation
Marble Fairbanks with James Lima Planning + Development, Leah Meisterlin, and Special Project Office
Presentation by Karen Fairbanks, Leah Meisterlin, and James Lima

Response Panel
Vicki Been, Commissioner, NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development
Michelle de la Uz, Executive Director, Fifth Avenue Committee
Mary Dempsey, President, Philip H. Corboy Foundation
David Kramer, Principal, Hudson Companies
Brad Lander, Council Member, New York City Council
Jonathan Bowles, Executive Director, Center for an Urban Future (moderator)

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SESSION TWO
The Reconfigured Library
Renovating and modernizing New York City’s libraries for 21st century users

Introduction
David Giles, Research Director, Center for an Urban Future

Design Presentation
MASS Design Group
Presentation by James Martin and Michael Murphy

Design Presentation
Andrew Berman Architect, Library Development Solutions, Neil Donnelly, AEA Consulting, Auerbach Pollock Friedlander
Presentation by Andrew Berman

Response Panel
Tiffany Alston, Network Manager for the Bronx, NYPL
Sarah Williams Goldhagen, architecture critic, The New Republic
Christopher Kui, Executive Director, Asian Americans for Equality
Faith Rose, Executive Director, Public Design Commission
Cassim Shepard, Editor, Urban Omnibus (moderator)

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SESSION THREE
New Ideas and Strategies for Libraries

Exploring new ways to maximize the impact of New York City’s libraries

Introduction
David Giles, Research Director, Center for an Urban Future

Community Engagement Case Study
Gensler
Presentation by Mark Thaler

Design Presentation
UNION
Presentation by Annie Barrett

Design Presentation
L+
Presentation by Bradley Samuels

Response Panel
Jukay Hsu, Founder, Coalition for Queens
Kyle Kimball, President, NYCEDC
Jimmy Van Bramer, Council Member, New York City Council
Stelios Vasilakis, Director of Programs & Strategic Initiatives, Stavros Niarchos Foundation
Brian Lehrer, Host, The Brian Lehrer Show (moderator)

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CLOSING REMARKS AND AUDIENCE RESPONSE
Rosalie Genevro, Executive Director, The Architectural League of New York