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  Furniture for Libraries Furniture for Libraries . 2001. This material has been created by Carole Graham and Linda Demmers and provided through the Libris Design Project [], supported by the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act, administered inCalifornia by the State Librarian. Any use of this material should credit the authors and funding source.    Page 2   1.   THE FURNITURE PROGRAM 3   1.1   What is a furniture program? 3   1.2   When is it needed? 4   1.3   Who prepares it? 4   2.   THE PROFESSIONALS 4   3.   PROCUREMENT METHODS 5   4.   FURNITURE SELECTION 5   4.1   Evaluating Existing Furniture 5   4.2   Timeline 5   4.3   Coordination with Millwork 6   4.4   Custom versus Catalog 6   4.5    Alternative Furniture 7   4.6   Performance Standards 8   4.7   Technology Integration 8   4.8   Budgeting 8   5.   MATERIALS SELECTION 9   5.1   Options and Comparisons 9   5.2   Selection Criteria 9   5.3   Maintenance Issues 11   5.4   Coordination 11   6.   FURNITURE TYPES 11   6.1   Chairs 11   6.2   Tables and Carrels 15   6.3   Systems Furniture 20   6.4   File Cabinets 22   6.5   Office Furniture 22   6.6   Meeting Room Furniture 23   6.7   Miscellaneous Furniture 24   7.   SPECIAL FURNITURE 25   7.1   Children’s Furniture 25   7.2   Furniture for Seniors 26   7.3   Furniture for Young Adults 26   7.4    Accessible Furniture 26   8.   FURNITURE INSTALLATION 27   8.1   Coordination 27   8.2   Delivery and Installation 27   8.3   Punch List 28   8.4   Equipment Installation 28   9.   GLOSSARY OF FURNITURE TERMINOLOGY 28   10.   FURTHER SOURCES OF INFORMATION 29      Page 3   1. THE FURNITURE PROGRAM Planning for furniture cannot occur too early in a project. The amount of furniture andequipment required to support a library’s program will drive the amount of space and fundingrequired to complete the project. Many planners begin to identify furniture and equipmentneeds during the programming phase. Planning for the furniture for a library project requirescareful scheduling and budgeting and the assistance of a design professional with experiencein the selection, evaluation, and procurement of specific items. When furniture is anafterthought it is frequently unavailable, mismatched to the architecture, or ill-suited for theintended location or purpose. 1.1 What is a furniture program? Furniture is an essential element that makes a space functional. Without it, people cannotwork, customers cannot be served, and the equipment and tools of the business cannot behoused. It typically supports all of the functions and services that must occur on a daily basis. Often, however, little attention is paid to it until just before it is needed. When it isaddressed early, an adequate budget and production and delivery schedule can be built intothe project. Additionally, with pre-planning coordination issues, such as architectural designand electrical and data placement, can be discussed and resolved.A furniture program provides a formal method for establishing the standards andrequirements for all furniture, equipment, and sometimes millwork for the library project. Itshould list all of the furniture items to be placed in each area of the library, along with preferred dimensions, quantity, equipment to be housed, and any electrical and datarequirements. It should also incorporate any staff workstation standards that are to be used.The program may be adjusted as the furniture plan and building design develops, since it provides the basis for the final furniture list and specification. Existing furniture to be reusedshould also be noted indicating any refurbishment specific items might require. Item # Item Name # Location Ex./New Description Finish NoteT4 Reader Table for 4 12 Ref. Room New 36” x 72” WoodLaminateT4A Reader Table for 4 12 Ref. Room Ex. 54” Round Wood RefinishC1 Reader Chair 48 Ref. Room New Armless Wood(Matchexisting)C2 Reader Chair 48 Ref. Room New With Arms WoodC3 Task Chairs 6 Ref. Room New OPAC A1 Atlas Stand 1 Ref. Room Ex. Wood RefinishFigure I: Sample Spreadsheet format for Preliminary Furniture Program A simple furniture program can be prepared using a spreadsheet, which can be sorted by anynumber of fields; e.g., Location, Item Name, Finish, or Note. Each unique furniture item can be given an alphanumeric code (example: T4 for a table for four) or a sequential numberingsystem can be used (example: A1 for Accessory 1). The spreadsheet can contain anunlimited number of fields, but would most likely include some of those suggested above as    Page 4   well as a notation regarding power or data requirements, specific equipment dimensionalrequirements, and an estimated cost. 1.2 When is it needed? The furniture program should be developed in the programming phase of a project. The building program often contains the essential elements of a furniture program. This earlyinput assists the space planner in providing adequate square footage to accommodate therequired furniture. It also assures that realistic budget figures can be developed. Moredetailed building programs will include all of the information about furniture, includingdimensions, materials, and cost. 1.3 Who prepares it? The library director and/or the library consultant will initiate the furniture program, listingquantities, dimensions and location by individual item. Other elements, such as design,finish materials, and electrical and data requirements, can be included or developed with theinterior designer in the design development phase of the project, when architectural andmillwork design are being formalized. 2. THE PROFESSIONALS The Interior Designer can be employed directly by the Client (Owner) or by the Architect asa member of the design team. The primary benefit to employing the Interior Designer directly is having an independent and objective advocate whose only focus is the functionand aesthetics of the interior space. The main benefit to having the Interior Designer under contract to the Architect is enhanced communication and closer project coordination. Ineither case the Interior Designer’s activities will be closely coordinated with both parties.The Interior Designer’s scope of services may include space-planning, development of thefurniture program and budget, design of custom millwork and furniture, selection of interior finish materials and design motif, interior signage design and specification, specification of furniture and shelving, coordination with other design consultants, and installationobservation. At the minimum the scope should include several meetings to discuss thefunction of the interior spaces and the furniture requirements and several meetings to presentlayout, selection of specific items, and presentation boards of proposed colors and finishmaterials.The Interior Designer’s fee can be a flat fee for a specific scope of work, an hourly rate for consultation services, a percentage of the furniture and equipment to be purchased, or a dollar  per square foot cost of the total construction project, although the latter is not common.Qualified designers belong to professional interior design associations, such as ASID or IIDA, are certified in the State of California by CCIDC, and will have references for previouswork available. Interior designers who specialize in libraries and public facilities will have a better understanding of the requirements of a public library.
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