In 2015, OPN Architects was hired to develop a feasibility study to clarify the needs, incorporate programming trends in library design, establish a cost estimate, and build consensus around a vision for the interior remodeling of a significant portion of the Hedberg Public Library.

The project team worked closely with the library to develop a feasibility study, which required programming, a mapping process that informs design. It is a highly collaborative process that engages users to gather information about organizational structure, culture, work patterns, processes, current and projected space needs, and adjacencies. The first step involved a series of site visits, as it was necessary to gain an understanding of existing operations and facilities. These visits generated observations regarding site and context, department and room use, overall space utilization, and building systems. The library also provided substantial feedback and information collected through internal discussions and design exercises.

Following a presentation on library trends, the project team conducted several on-site work sessions to generate additional feedback, present ideas and concepts, and ultimately build consensus around a vision for the library. From these discussions and the preliminary data evolved area projections, the feasibility study objectives, and initial planning concepts.

The preferred concept that emerged organizes spaces to physically and visually enhance the connection to the river beside which the library sits. Major renovations to the library include a new entrance and an enhanced Children’s Program Room, a multi-use reading room with a fireplace, collaborative and flexible young adult space, and several study spaces. The new and innovative spaces proposed will offer a dynamic patron-centered place to engage knowledge that will allow the Hedberg Public Library to maintain its service of excellence while enabling it to embrace change.