The Experience Library

Library Journal has an interesting article from 2003 about an experiential approach to library design at the Cerritos Millennium Library in California:

Both circulation and the number of visitors have skyrocketed, but the quality of the library experience matters as much as the numbers to Pearson [the founder]. He loves to tell about the teenager on her cell phone telling friends to come to the library because “it’s cool — it’s like a mall!” He’s just as delighted by the woman who comes in each week to read a chapter of Moby-Dick in the Old World Reading Room; it wasn’t just the book she wanted but the total experience of reading a fine press edition in a wingback chair beside a fireplace.

It’s also worth browsing through some of the criticism on the Cerritos Library Wikipedia page, including the arguments that the library has become too much of a social gathering place and that it is unfairly competing with less attractive libraries.

More photos here. And here.

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