May 23, 2022

Philadelphia: Temple University Announces Plans For New $190M Library

From the PhillyDeals Blog/

Temple University’s new library, previously proposed as the school’s portal to Philadelphia on busy North Broad St., is now planned for “the space currently occupied by Barton Hall along 13th Street between Norris Street and Polett Walk,” as part of a new quadrangle of campus buildings,reports the Temple News here.

From the Temple News:

In a statement released Friday, Dean of University Libraries Joseph Lucia, who was appointed in July, called the new library “a catalyst for learning and intellectual engagement across the campus community.”

“The big fulcrum of change is a shift in the emphasis from the library as a repository of books to the library as a place for sharing of ideas and new knowledge,” Lucia said.


Jim Creedon, senior vice president for construction, facilities and operations said the library will be the center of the university’s new master plan under the Visualize Temple Initiative. Part of that initiative, Creedon said, will include the building of a university quad around the center of campus.

More info in this official announcement from Temple University:

Estimated to be completed in 2018, the new library will be designed by Snøhetta, an architectural firm renowned for its innovative library designs, in partnership with Philadelphia-based design firm Stantec. The 200,000 to 300,000-square-foot library will be open to the surrounding Philadelphia community and adjacent to a new greenspace that will be the largest in Main Campus history.

The early stages of the library’s design process have been guided by teams of Temple staff and students in a process led by University Architect Margaret Carney. Their work was informed by programming ideas shared by the Temple University community on the Visualize Temple social site. This summer and fall, library stakeholders participated in day-long workshops focusing on issues specific to the library, including learning, research and collections. Also underlying the library’s programming are the academic priorities that Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Hai-Lung Dai is developing with input from faculty and staff.


Final scheduling is still being developed, but the series of cascading construction and renovation projects involving Temple’s current and future Main Campus libraries is expected to begin when the science departments currently in Barton Hall can move into SERC, the future $137-million home for student learning and research in the sciences at Temple (some of Barton’s classrooms will move into Wachman Hall). Once Barton is vacated, its demolition will begin —most likely in the summer of 2015. After the new library is completed and occupied in roughly Spring 2018, the renovation of Paley Library will begin.
See Also: We recently noted that Snøhetta will also design Calgary’s New Central Library
About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.