Can Old Buildings Be Turned Into Libraries? A Sneak Peek Into an Upcoming Open Access Book by IFLA’s Environment, Sustainability and Libraries Special Interest Group (ENSULIB)

“From the International Federation of Library Associations (IFLA):

The book titled “New Libraries in Old Buildings: The Creative Reuse of Disused Structures” and edited by Petra Hauke, Karen Latimer and Robert Niess, will be published in 2020. Stay tuned!

Sustainability and environmental awareness are key issues globally, with the library world committed to playing its part in protecting the planet. Implementing sustainable strategies is now well established in many libraries.

The new book will be published in open access by De Gruyter and is made possible through the collaboration between ENSULIB and IFLA’s Library Buildings and Equipment Section (LBES). It takes sustainability one step further and shows how sensitively transforming existing historic buildings into exciting, functional and beautiful libraries is both a challenge and a highly fulfilling undertaking.


A wide range of creative adaptations are discussed including barns, a courtyard, churches, factories, fire stations, a grocery store, a hospital, locomotive halls, a post office, a cattle market and a slaughterhouse.

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