This comprehensive reference examines the changing role and design of library buildings, using a critical examination of recent examples from around the world.The authors, who represent the views of the architect and the client, outline the history and changing typology of the library. They examine the new national, public, academic and specialist libraries using numerous international examples including Sri Lanka, Vancouver, Johannesburg, Paris and London. New design advice and technical data is presented to illustrate the many approaches that designers have taken in creating a building with many diverse functions. The book concludes with speculations about the future of the library as a place for storing, reflecting upon and exchanging knowledge.Libraries are undergoing fundamental change as new technology liberates the library from its dependence upon the written word. Increasingly libraries are seen as learning resource centres with a smooth interface between computer-based access and traditional book and journal material.