Richland Library, North Main

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In association with The Boudreaux Group

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 was the North Main branch location, a 10,000 SF library that originally opened in 1992. Our firm led a programming process that engaged the community and the client group to further develop the “Library as Studio” framework and created space programming to support activities that reflect the local community’s goals and the vibrant programming that the North Main branch already enjoyed. 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.

Our 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 is 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 also has an active outside “front porch” for intergenerational recreational activity and gathering, and an on-going arts program featuring local artists.