May 23, 2022

Selected Highlights From “Redesigning the College Library Building, 2014 Edition”

Here are a few highlights from a new report published by Primary Research.


This 220+ page report looks closely at the capital spending plans and building renovation/construction policies of academic libraries, predominantly in the USA and Canada. The study covers capital spending and space allocation plans with highly detailed data on recent library spending and future plans for the construction or renovation of library cafes, seating space, lighting, atriums, classroom space, information commons and other technology-oriented spaces, group study space, storage space, collection space, rooftop space, offices, meeting spaces and auditoriums, entrances and exits, restrooms, gardens and other outdoor spaces, artwork, windows, space and facilities for special collections, performance space, space intended for library applications for specific academic departments and other forms of library space and special features. In addition, the report looks at other forms of capital spending such as plans for library furniture, workstations,information technology and more. 

Selected Highlights

  • 37.5% of survey participants say that their library capital budget has decreased over the past 3 years while only 16.07% say that it has increased
  • 36.36% of survey participants say that the space allocated to library collections has decreased over the past three years
  • The smaller the college the more likely was its special collection unit to gain space over the past three years
  • Nearly 2/3 of survey participants expect to increase their seating capacity for patrons over the next three years
  • Fundraising projects financed about 10% of new library renovation or construction for the libraries in the sample
  • More than 21% of the public college libraries in the sample use the library roof as a space for patrons or staff to congregate
  • 23.21% of survey participants say the library has made an investment over the past three years to install, expand, or better situate a library cafe or restaurant
  • A sixth of libraries in the sample say that the expansion of their library cafe is a very important goal in their next renovation

Also available is a 12 page excerpt from the report that includes nearly 40 data tables (PDF).

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.