North Main Library

In association with The Boudreaux Group and Margaret Sullivan Studio

McMillan Pazdan Smith’s library expertise was enlisted on a multi-firm team headed by a local architecture firm in Columbia to renovate four existing branch libraries as part of Richland Library’s capital improvement plan. The first branch to be renovated is the North Main branch location, originally 10,000 sf library that opened in 1992. MPS led a programming process that engaged the community and the client group to further develop the Library as Studio framework and created a space program to support the activities to reflect the goals of the community and the vibrant programming the North Main community is already enjoying. From a series of adjacency studies, each with their own theme, the client selected “The Learning Lab” as the approach to enable the Education and Career Advancement domains.

The final program resulted in a central Vibrant Café, a large multi-purpose community meeting room, designed for meetings, performances and storytelling in the round; an intergenerational activity area for active crafts programs including basket-weaving, sewing and all forms of music-making; a youth and education area designed to promote PLA’s Ready to Read, a dedicated teen space to give youth a place for collaboration, play and belonging, and, a dedicated technology zone which will be a state-of-the-art business center to provide job skills, technical skills and small business entrepreneur training. In response to community meetings, North Main will also have an active outside “front porch” for intergenerational recreational activity and gathering, and an on-going arts program featuring local artists.