Lawrence County Public Library
2023 • AIA IowaImpact Award, Honorable Mention
2021 • American Institute of Architects, NationalPeople’s Choice Award, Look Up Film Challenge
A feasibility study conducted by OPN Architects in 2017 outlined a vision for the future of the Lawrence County Public Library built on the desire of library leadership to include greater innovation by transforming opportunities into reality. The primary goals which emerged during this study were to design a library with a retail centric service model, optimizing staff work spaces, and removing barriers and walls to create a 21st century flexible, participatory library. The new and innovative spaces proposed will offer a dynamic patron- centered place that will allow the library to maintain its service of excellence while enabling it to embrace change. The Feasibility Study provided a foundation for designing a library that is inspirational, collaborative, flexible, and adaptable for future generations within the Lawrence County Community.
Shaped by the goals of clarifying library needs of the library, strategically creating better efficiencies and expansion opportunities, incorporating programming trends into the library design, and establishing a preliminary cost estimate, a preferred concept emerged to provide a framework for the renovation of the Lawrence County Public Library.
The expansion and renovation embraces a contemporary, transformational, warm, and open design to complement the existing architecture and evolving civic/community needs. The project enhances the quality of services to the community, create greater operational efficiencies, transform the institution internally, and embolden services for the youth of Lawrence County. Spaces were re-organized along a primary north-south circulation path. This path physically and visually enhances connection to all spaces in the library. Renovations include: new entrances from the street and parking lot, an enhanced Children’s area with program room, a reconfiguration of collections spaces to reduce shelving height and increase visual connectivity, the addition of collaborative and flexible community centered spaces, and the introduction of several collaborative study spaces.
You’ve given our community a building that exceeded everyone’s expectations and brought to life what was merely a dream and vision for myself and the board nearly four years ago.
— Carlie Pelfrey, Library Director