Spacious library interior with wooden bookshelves, a browsing section, computer stations, and a person walking past the audiobooks section.

The Manchester Community Library Manchester, VT

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A cozy library corner featuring a stone fireplace, blue sectional seating, bookshelves filled with books, and shelves with magazines and newspapers.Modern library interior with wooden bookshelves, display tables of books, computer stations, and a person walking through the aisle.Bright and modern library interior with large windows, bookshelves, study tables, lounge seating, and computer stations.Modern library interior with a stone fireplace, shelves filled with books, a cozy armchair, and a patterned ottoman.

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The Manchester Community Library sought to transform itself from the occupant of a small historic structure into a multi-faceted community resource including meeting rooms, business center capabilities, a neighborhood café, lounge spaces, rooms geared towards children and teens, a history center and art gallery as well as housing its collection of books and printed media. These new spaces include rooms for personal growth, community involvement, social gatherings, as well as daily activities. Expanding the library’s collection from mere books into a program of spaces resulted in a reorganization and reconceptualization of the collection.

Books were placed within spaces to facilitate interaction rather than to provide maximal storage capacity and indexical cohesion. Spaces were conceived as ways to provoke contact between people and media as well as people and people. The building and its interior reflect its unique place between an agrarian landscape and access to a broader digital atmosphere. Regional artists and locally sourced materials were combined with durable but comfortable furnishings to create a place unique to Vermont.

Modern lobby area with couches, a magazine exchange stand, wooden flooring, and a front desk with brochures. Large wooden doors and a sign indicating an elevator are visible in the background.