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An Introduction to Architectural Design: Libraries

COURSE NO: A03-002
An Introduction to Architectural Design: Libraries
Course Highlights

This online engineering PDH course will give you the fundamentals you need to address library design projects in your day-to-day practice and activities. You will learn about space allocation criteria, core functional areas, site evaluation and location, handicapped accessibility issues, sustainable design considerations, general design guidelines, site design, and building design criteria. You will learn criteria for specification of furniture, fixtures and equipment for all of the functional areas in libraries.  You will learn how to develop and apply functional relationship diagrams for central information services, central reading areas, public service areas, children's areas, administration, technical services and support activities.


This course provides guidance for development of library facilities appropriate to support various library operations. This course will introduce you to the principles of architectural planning and design. Because architectural design is largely a subjective process, the "casebook" approach is used to illustrate it.  In this instance, the architectural design of libraries is the "case" to be discussed.


This 3 PDH online course is intended for all engineers, architects, designers, construction professionals and others involved in the development and approval of library construction projects. It is intended to help all participants better understand library requirements, programs, and design criteria so they can effectively participate in the project development process.

Learning Objectives

This PE continuing education course is intended to provide you with the following specific knowledge and skills:

  • Learning about typical space allowances for small, medium and large libraries
  • Learning about the five core functional areas in libraries.
  • Learning typical site size, configuration and orientation requirements
  • Learning about architectural criteria for the circulation desk, circulation spaces, general collection stacks, reference desk, reference collections, and on-line public access catalog (OPAC) computer stations
  • Learning about planning and design requirements for reading areas, audio/visual (A/V) viewing stations, A/V collections, special collections and periodicals
  • Learning about design basics for microform viewing stations, small group study areas, display/bulletin board areas, reproduction areas, and fax/scanning areas
  • Learn about information service areas including computer workstation areas, computer labs, equipment, and related infrastructure, as required
  • Learning about how to provide a local area network (LAN) room for servers, wiring, backups, homepage administration, virtual out processing, and report generation
  • Learning the basic features of children's areas including computer workstations, toys developmentally appropriate for children, special reading collections, A/V materials and listening stations, and areas for group activities, such as storytelling or reading programs
  • Learning how the Americans with Disabilities Act Architectural Guidelines will affect the construction, additions, and renovation of existing facilities
  • Learning how to incorporate sustainability principles in your design, such as renewable energy, day-lighting, passive and active solar heating, natural ventilation, and photovoltaics
  • Learning how to incorporate outdoor reading areas, patios, furniture, and other outdoor amenities into your design
  • Learning techniques for effectively incorporating book and audio/visual (A/V) collection boxes into a library
  • Learning parameters required for service vehicles and service access areas
  • Learning the basics of building organization and circulation
Course Document

In this professional engineering CEU course, you need to review the course document titled, "An Introduction to Architectural Design: Libraries".

To view, print and study the course document, please click on the following link(s):
Introduction to Architectural Design: Libraries (6.5 MB)
Course Quiz
Once you complete your course review, you need to take a multiple-choice quiz consisting of fifteen (15) questions to earn 3 PDH credits. The quiz will be based on the entire document.


The minimum passing score is 70%. There is no time limit on the quiz, and you can take it multiple times until you pass at no additional cost.
Certificate of Completion

Upon successful completion of the quiz, print your Certificate of Completion instantly. (Note: if you are paying by check or money order, you will be able to print it after we receive your payment.) For your convenience, we will also email it to you. Please note that you can log in to your account at any time to access and print your Certificate of Completion.

To buy the course and take the quiz, please click on: