January 16, 2012 AdminHBA Events, People, Sustainability/LEED®, Technology

Virginia Library Association Annual Conference

On October 27-28, HBA became first-time exhibitors at the Virginia Library Association Annual Conference in Portsmouth, VA. Taking advantage of being “local,” we pulled out all the stops to create an engaging audiovisual display, complete with complimentary bags of popcorn!

The conference theme was “Nature is a Language: Can you Read? Literacy and Sustainability in Virginia’s Libraries,” and we took the opportunity to showcase some of the environmentally-friendly features that Architect Mike Winner included in Churchland Library, located just a few miles from the conference site. The library’s innovative design makes it a landmark for community members with strong ties to the well-loved Coleman Nursery previous located on the site. Light-filled reading spaces, whimsical children’s area, and outdoor seating make it a destination for all ages.

Also on display were models and sketches from HBA’s recent in-house library design charette. During a charette, all employees are invited to produce ideas and concepts for the given project, which are then discussed and evaluated by the group. We believe that collaborative design is the best way to fully understand the needs of the client and to arrive at an architectural solution that will benefit all stake-holders in the design. The models generated discussion among conference attendees on how thoughtful and quality design can improve a library’s service to its readership, and ultimately increase literacy among community members.

While the eye-catching graphics, thought-provoking youtube videos, and hunger-inducing popcorn smells certainly drew many people to our exhibit booth, we hope they left with an understanding of how architects can partner with libraries to create spaces which better serve their communities. If that message came across loud and clear to the conference attendees, some old friends and many new ones, then our participation was a success. For anyone who missed us, we’ll greet you next year with a warm handshake and a freshly-popped bag of popcorn!

-Becky Cook