For those who love to read, libraries engender an excited reverence, which is why it’s a relief to bibliophiles everywhere to know that libraries are not an endangered species. However, with the advent of modern technology and the internet, smart library design is more crucial than ever. Contemporary library design must accommodate the specific needs of varying populations in order to remain viable. This need has resulted in a wave of mini-libraries that may have been designed outside the box but could almost fit inside one!

levinski library

Levinski Library. Photo via

Serving the Underserved In an effort to reach underserved populations-the poor, illegal immigrants, refugees, and non-native speakers-several communities have implemented libraries that are available 24/7 in public spaces. One example is the Levinski Library, another is the mobile library “Biblioteca Móvil A47” in Mexico City.

Pop-Up Library by artist Massimo Bartolini

“Bookyard” by artist Massimo Bartolini. Photo via

Books and Wine A summertime park installation allows readers to borrow, purchase, and/or donate books to dozens of shelves that have been set up on the grassy fields of the St. Peter’s Monastery. Passersby can sip wine from the monks’ vineyard while selecting the perfect accompaniment from the “Bookyard“.

Phone Booth Library

Phone Booth Library. Photo via

Borrow a Book, Call a Friend New York City wondered what to do with all those (mostly) unused phone booths. Fortunately an architect named John Locke convinced the city to implement mini-libraries in existing phone booth nooks. Now all over the city, the public can borrow and donate books on their way about town.

These clever and ultra-functional designs are proof that innovative library designs will keep libraries relevant for years to come.

LS&A has worked on several libraries recently, and are excited to be working on a new library project now.   To see more library projects, check out our portfolio on Behance: