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“A Library is a repository of various forms of recorded information, as well  as  a  collection  of  data  in  many  formats.”  (Metu  A.  1987).  The  design proposal is a consequence  of an investigation into the emerging concern about energy efficiency of buildings, the recent advances in information technology and their attending consequences on the planning and architecture of the future library. Demographic data and an understanding of the development need of the growing population validate the need for a library facility in Agbani.

The aim of this research and the design of the scheme is to develop a proposal that will demonstrate a careful analysis of the architectural problems identified which include the implications of library design in the context of recent advancements in information  technology,  control of internal environment  and energy efficiency, circulation,   fire  protection,   lighting,  noise  arising   from  different   locations, flexibility and security.

As a general design consideration, open planning and a standard measurement or module, which is valid under changing conditions for the library’s equipment and furniture, will be employed.

The five primary areas that will form the interior arrangement of the library are the  administrative  service  department,  technical  service  department,  reference service department, adult service department and support areas.

The  special  design  considerations  are  Circulation  and  activity  flow,   noise, lighting, internal climate, humidification, building protection from solar radiation, hazards, security, as well as arrangement of furniture and equipments.

The project location is in Agbani, Nkanu West L.G.A. located in a  prominent, easily  accessible  location  required  to  attract  a  large  number  of  persons.  An

analysis of the site is based on the synthesis of such factors as its  topography, access and views, sun analysis and orientation, source of noise and soil condition. The concept of zoning takes into consideration the noise levels of library spaces as well as sequence in time of library use.

The  planning  takes  into  consideration  the collection  capacity  of the  proposed library which will be a function of the proposed population to be designed for. The concept  of massing is to symbolize  the culture of formal  learning,  which begins with a broad scope, and as one advances in learning,  he specializes. To symbolize this character, the massing of the Agbani Central Library will be like that of a pyramid, which is broad at its base and tapers as it rises.



According to Ayodele O. K (1979), “Library as an institution  is a  living record  of  man’s  progress  from  the  Stone  Age  to  the  modern  age.  Through libraries, men can communicate  their vision and experience from  generation to generation. Libraries are also stepping stones to the future as well as bridges to the past.  Libraries   and  schools  are  inseparable   educational   team  dedicated   to preparing today’s people to meet the challenges of tomorrow. Libraries are quiet places but not dull places. They houses the  most exclusive and dynamic man’s creation ideas. Through libraries,  scientists  have unlocked the secrets of nature and  philosophers  have  searched for  meaning  of age.  They are also  important weapons   for   peace,   freedom   and   full   development   of   the   individual   to understanding himself, his surroundings and the world at large.”

Libraries are established to perform the following functions:

      To assemble, preserve and administer books and other related educational materials  in organized  collections,  in order  to  promote  an enlightened society  through   guidance   and  stimulation   and  to   promote   enriched personal lives.

      To provide opportunity  and encouragement  for children,  young  people, men and women to educate themselves continuously.

      To help people make such use of leisure times as well as promote personal happiness and social advancement.

      To serve those who are aiding in the advancement of knowledge through research. (Microsoft Encarta 2008)


The shift from the teacher to the learner has been a significant one. It does not mean that the role of the teacher is redundant, rather, that it is a change; that the act of learning must be substantially a proactive one and  that  access to learning resources  is even essential than it has been prior to now.

“In the traditional sense of the world, library is a collection of books and though derives  from the Latin word  “lire” meaning  book,  it can be  referred  to as an individual  or  private  collection,  but  more  often  it  is  a  large  collection  of information resources and a group of services that is funded and maintained by a city or institution. In the senses, it is not merely a collection, but an organized collection, intended for use, accompanied by a  group of services for users. The collection and the services are often used by people who chose not to –or cannot afford to purchase an extensive collection themselves, who need materials.” Calvin R. (1999).

However, with the collection or invention of media other than books for storing information, many libraries are now also repositories and points for maps, prints, or other art works , microfilms, microfiche, audio tapes, CDs, LPS, video tapes DVDs, and provide public facilities to access CD-Rom and subscription data base and the internet. Thus, modern libraries are increasingly being redefined as places to get unrestricted access to information in many formats and from many sources. In addition to providing material, they also provide service of specialists who are expert  in  matters  related  to  finding  and  organizing  information,  interpreting information needs, called libraries.

It is essential, the library service a multiplicity of purpose, that its staff is able to meet the demands of a sophisticated  and literate audience,  capable of  using a variety of information and communication media.

Libraries  perform  a  range  of  functions  in  the  society,  academic  libraries  for instance obtain, collect and store literature for education and research purposes and is usually open to the general public. Public libraries provide communication with a wide choice of more general literature and other information media with as much of them displayed on open shelves. In addition online information searches on databases  stored  in CD-ROMs  are  also  available,  including  photocopying, reading and printing from microfilms.

‘The role of public libraries  has been changing in the past few years,  notably through the acceptance of new media of communication,  the  recognition of the new social objectives and parities, which index reaching out to those who do not at present use the library services, thus, libraries are changing and dynamic places; libraries are techno-savvy at the forefront of the information age, and help people to find information they need, when they need it.’ (Allen Kent, 2000).

Libraries are places of opportunity; libraries are part of our dream place for education, self-help and lifelong learning.

‘Libraries brings you to the world; where else can one have access to  virtually everything in print or online and even have the personal assistance of librarians to help find what you are looking for?’ (Angelo W, 1967).

More recently, libraries are understood as extending beyond the physical walls of a building,  including  materials  accessible  by electronic  means,  and  providing assistance by librarians in navigating and analyzing the  tremendous amount of knowledge  with a variety of digital tools.  It is  obvious  that a vital institution housing and documenting the living records of man’s progress from ages and also forms  an  essential  link  through  which  man’s  vision  and  breakthrough  are communicated between generations which forms a stepping stone into the future and a bridge to the past .Libraries are quiet places, they house the most explosive

and  dynamic  of  all  man’s  creative  ideas.  Through  libraries,  scientist   have embarked to unravel the secrets of nature, and philosophers, have searched deep into  the  meaning  of  life,  they are  indeed  an important  weapon  for  preparing people today to meeting the challenges of the future, for peace, freedom and help towards self development  and better  understanding  of the environment  and the world at large.

‘Today, libraries building are constructed so that they can be easily expanded or modified  to  accommodate  changes  in  collections,  formats,  and  user   needs including   users  with  disabilities.   The  rapid  expansion   of  the   information technology since World War II has forced libraries to consider new methods of storage such as compact movable shelving, microfilming of bulky or deteriorating materials.  The  décor  of  modern  libraries  is  determined  largely  by  practical consideration, lighting is bright, furnishing is sturdy, and structural elements are designed to conserve energy.’ (Encyclopedia Americana Inc. NY 1981 VOL. 17, Pg. 31). In future, libraries may see space given over to bookshelves cleared to make way for extra  computer terminals as internet access supersedes access to books as primary function of the library institution.


Agbani and its environs  experienced  a rapid  influx of  academic institutions under the governorship  of Dr. Chimaroke Nnamani (Ebeano).These institutions  ranges  from primary to tertiary institutions  an  even a professional institution(   Nigerian   Law  School).   These   institutions   includes   Renaissance University Ugbawka, Air force Primary and Secondary  School, Mea Mater High School Agbani, Nigerian Law School Agbani Campus, and the mother all being the  movement  of Enugu  State  University    of  Science  and  Technology  to  its

permanent  site  in  Agbani.  Considering  the  number  of  these  institutions,  the importance of a Library to be located there cannot be overemphasized. Another factor that earnestly calls for this project is the fact that most of our institutions don’t have what it takes to equip their libraries to a reasonable standard, owing to the  presence  of  this  proposed  project,  the  various  institutions  could  still  be running  their  sketchy  library  services  while  the  proposed  Divisional  Library Agbani,  will be  equipped  to  cover  up  the  deficiencies  of  the  various  school libraries.


The scope of the project of this nature needs to be definitely given. Broadly  speaking,  the  project  scope  has  been  determined  to   accommodate facilities covering the following services:

The administrative facility includes:

–     Boardroom,  committee rooms, office of the board chairman and  some administrative staff.

–     Offices housing these sections: administration,  personnel,  finance,  and accounts, internal audit, public relations, etc.

The operations supports will involve the provision of bibliographic services, legal unit,   National   union   catalogue,   national   and   state   documentation   centers, collection development, library statistics research and training. All these will be present within the proposed library.

The readers’ activities will present the boiling point of the library and will  be made  functional  through  the provision  of entrance  halls,  Referencing  section, audio-visuals,  reading rooms, public catalogue, etc. These areas will  be clearly provided  in the design  to avoid  conflict  and confusion  while  enhancing  more

efficient readers’ productivity. The stack area and all other book shelving areas will be large enough to contain a total capacity of 40,000-50,000 volumes, which is the projected capacity of the library.

Movement of volumes forms stacks to the service desk will be partly automated to enhance speedy services. The mechanized service will involve printing, binding, and photocopying.

The service will be given full consideration worthy of an industrial process, which they represent. The support facilities will basically serve to make the use of the library more interesting and comfortable.  It will also include  facilities  such as exhibition halls, auditoriums, snack bars, restaurants, kitchen, etc.


The main architectural problem in the design of the proposed library is that of “flexibility and adaptation to change in library design and use of library”. Changes  in  spatial  and  functional  requirements  of  libraries,  in  terms  of  the dynamic  needs  of  the  users  and  administrative  authorities  (librarians)  in  the present and especially the future are referred to as “change”.

Other library design related problems which are to solve includes:

      Library  design  in  the  context  of  recent  advancement   in  information technology.

    Control of internal environment and energy efficiency

    Accessibility (Both physical and visual impact)

    Circulation of people and material (horizontal \vertical)

    Space relationship (zoning)

    Acoustics and noise control


    Heat and noise control

    Security and fire protection



The aim of this research and design scheme will be to develop  a proposal that will demonstrate  a careful analysis of the architectural  problems highlighted  and the variety of probable solutions, the result of  which will be a skilful synthesis  that will be given expression  through the  function,  form  and architectural character of the design of the proposed Divisional Library Agbani. Therefore, considering the problems already identified and the aim already stated, the following will be objectives of this project:

      The  design  will  seek  to  use  a  variety  of  formula  and  library  design reference works to define the space allocation, which will accommodate the size of the projected material collection. The space allocation will be in terms numbering of shelving units to house the  collection and the floor area  required  to  accommodate  the  shelving  units  and  related  public circulated ways.

      The space allocation will attempt to accommodate various ways in which patrons will utilize the resources of the facility. This concerns the seating arrangement because different reading activities require different seating arrangement.  Reference,  study and research work  require  table seating. Patrons  interested  in  browsing  and  recreational  reading  seek  comfort

lounge  in  which  to  pursue  their  pastimes.  Retrieval  of  electronically processed  information  requires  study  carrels  and  computer  terminals. Children   need   tables   and   chairs   for   projects,   reading   and   other programmed  activities. All of these  types of seating have specific space requirements. The outcome of this design will take this into consideration.

      To develop a library-building program that will incorporate elements that will magnify its role as a community facility. This is equally necessary since the library will function as a focal point for community learning.

      The  fenestration  will  be  designed  such  that  windows  will  be  used  to provide needed natural light. The windows provided will be located such so that they do not interfere with shelving layouts in the book area. The design will take advantage of window openings placed high on the wall above  shelving  units,  which  are  often  an  effective  source  of  evenly distributed  ambient  light. Adequate lighting that  will not produce glare where computers terminals at right any source of natural daylight.

      The design will seek to solve the problem of peripheral noise generated by absorbing the noise by the spatial design, spatial separation and material selection. Provision of special “quiet study” rooms will assure patrons of an acoustically quiet environment. In addition, with special programs and homework center activities, the children Area will be a source of moderate noise in the facility. Care would be taken to acoustically isolate this area from other areas of the facility.

      An attempt  will be  made  to design  a security  system  that  will not  be entirely dependent  on a book theft security system.  Since  the  ultimate responsibility for protecting materials and equipment used by the public in the  library  rests  with  library  staff,  the  reader  service  desk  and  staff

workrooms  should  be located  in view  of public  seating  and  collection areas,   thereby  enhancing   visual   supervision.   This   will   be  a  more architectural response to the problem of Security.

      In order to achieve flexibility and expandability in the library design, the meeting  room  space  should  be  designed  to  accommodate  a  variety of configurations  for  meetings,  seminars  and  training  sessions.  Lighting systems should be adaptable to varying use patterns. In designing the staff support areas, consideration will be given to visiting librarians and staff. Hence, a flexible design will accommodate such situations.

      To contain the risk of fire by arson, attention will be paid to the design of fenestrations. Windows that does not open eliminates such risk. However, since windows that do not open will be counter productive  when other factors like ventilation are considered, the risk can be reduced by the use of screening to cover windows that can open.

      In order to limit the spread of fire, there will also be an attempt to employ the use of compartmentalization.  This implies subdividing the book stack by constructing fire resistant walls, ceilings, and floors to limit the spread of fire, smoke and to some extend water. Compartmentalization is a highly successful method of reducing risk if barriers are designed and installed properly. Fire ratings must be appropriate for book stacks, and there can be no breaks or interruptions to the barriers. Points often overlooked in the use  of  compartmentalization  are  continuation  of  the  walls  above  drop ceilings  to  the  floor  above,  installation  of  automatic  dampers  in  air handling  system,  sealing  of  gaps  around  utility  tunnels,  and   use  of automatic   fire   doors;   all   are   measures   designed   to   help   isolate compartments  from one another to prevent spread of  fire  ,a smoke and water.  Vertical  openings  between  floors  for  services,  stairwells,   and elevators  need  to  be  sealed  if  each  floor  is  to  become  a   separate compartment and barrier to the spread of fire.


Research  successes  are  usually  hindered  by  lack  of  adequate material due to the economic recession being experience in the world today, while making findings increasingly difficult, however, efforts for sourcing information were made to achieve an appreciable success. Such  efforts were made through primary and secondary sources.

The main research procedures adopted in this study is chiefly deductive; involving the  collection  of data through  both the primary  and  secondary  sources.  These include;

Primary Sources:

–          Site/Field Study, Surveys and observations.

–          Personal interviews

–          Library Research

–          Participant or Detached Observation

–           Filling of Questionnaires by Persons

–           Measurement of people events or things under direct manner

Secondary Sources:

–    Case Studies reviews.

–    Review of existing records, books, journals, magazines, monographs etc. The   Author   visited   the   site   to   become   acquainted   with   topographic   and environmental peculiarities of the chosen site.  To achieve this goal, a preliminary survey was carried out and major landmarks and features established.

A  visit  to  Agbani  and  its  environs  was  undertaken  and  relevant  information obtained from the Ministry of Land, Survey and Town Planning, and the Ministry of Information Enugu State among others.

In addition, various case studies and reviews of the materials obtained proved quite useful in determining exact problems and possible solutions to be adopted in the project. Useful information was also obtained from interviews and discussions with the author’s project supervisor and lecturers that guided and directed the research. Various books, journals, and Unpublished Project Reports which formed the bulk of this research materials.

The  information  and  data  collected  or  obtained  by  the  various  means  were gathered, analyzed and synthesized to give a framework for this Project Report and the subsequent design.

This material content is developed to serve as a GUIDE for students to conduct academic research



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