Current Work: Revisiting Branch Libraries

Three firms discuss recent and current library projects in the context of a holistic approach to accessibility.

May 21, 2024

Recorded on March 13, 2024.

Current Work is a lecture series featuring leading figures in the worlds of architecture, urbanism, design, and art.


This spring, the League is focusing on the imperative for more accessible spaces, from different perspectives and through different typologies. Following the lead of disability justice organizers to uplift intersectional approaches over notions of universality, our hope is to reach beyond the often inconsistently executed design ramifications of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) to address how the fields that are charged with planning, design, construction, and management can more fully support the creation of an inclusive built environment.

Geographic and civic hubs in their communities, branch libraries are charged with granting public access not only to media, but to critical social services and resources. As libraries continue to adapt their function and form, how can architects employ a holistic approach to accessibility across both programmatic and physical design? 

In this event video, recorded ten years after the League’s Re-Envisioning Branch Libraries study, Karen Fairbanks of Marble Fairbanks and Andrew Berman of Andrew Berman Architect—who participated in the 2014 study—are joined by David Leven and Stella Betts of LEVENBETTS to revisit these essential community centers and to present their leading work within the branch library typology.

The program closes with a panel discussion moderated by Leah Meisterlin and an audience Q&A.