Dubois County Contractual Public Library, Ferdinand Branch

Ferdinand, Indiana

The Ferdinand Library was designed to meet the information/education/entertainment needs of a small rural community. The facility replicates the Arts and Crafts style prevalent in the last century, but with many unique and contemporary features.

It serves as an after-school hub for four area schools (Ferdinand and Pine ADDITIONAL INFORMATIONCOST PER SQ FT$106.52FEATURED IN2011 Educational InteriorsINTERIOR CATEGORYLibraries/Media Centers Elementaries, Cedar Crest Intermediate and Forest Park Jr.-Sr. High) and as a resource center for amateur geneaologists. A designated computer room serves many residents who do not have Internet service.

Educational components began before the library opened when two local clay artists held a free workshop. Participants created 8-inch-square clay tiles using antiquated computer parts, vivid paint and their imaginations. The tiles were fired and grouted together into wall art that replicates stained glass and hung in the computer room.

The library was designed for easy visibility from the circulation desk to minimize staff. Despite the openness, there is a feeling of intimacy.

Book aisles are placed strategically to lead patrons toward private study rooms, the computer lab, genealogy room and reading lounge. Separate community and conference rooms, plus ample work space for employees, were incorporated into the design, along with a teen center, large children’s reading and activity room.

A woodland theme was chosen for the children’s reading area, separated from the adult section by a bank of computers. Trees "grow" skyward into the bulkhead, separating the terminals. A vinyl tile "river" flows on either side, and children pass over one of two arched bridges.

The ceiling mirrors a cerulean sky with clouds floating above. Birds "sail" in flight. Vivid colors were chosen for the adjacent activity room to stimulate creativity. The floor tile is patterned after a Frank Lloyd Wright stained glass.

The result? Circulation has increased 300 percent since the doors opened Dec. 13, 2010.