North Canton Public Library is a unique community asset - Library, Art Gallery + Studio, Literacy Center, Essential Community Partner. Book circulation is at an all-time high, and the library is struggling to find sufficient program space to support the increased demand by the community for meeting, and program spaces. studioTECHNE designed a community based discovery process in collaboration with the Library to engage the citizens of North Canton to identify the community’s priorities and develop a comprehensive plan to position the library as the focal point of lifelong learning in North Canton. We led the community through a series of focus groups and developed a comprehensive list of priorities and needs. Of highest priority are community meeting spaces, tutoring rooms, dedicated children’s program space, teen space, and an entrepreneurship center and maker space where community members can explore business startup and proto-typing opportunities.
Analysis of the existing building discovered enough underutilized space so that all the new program space requested by the community approximately 35% more space was accommodated by a 6,000 square foot addition to the building. The design developed for the library moves all the public gathering and meeting spaces to the street side of the building, allowing the building to embrace the community and provide an exciting, lively presence on one of North Canton’s busiest streets. The master plan developed for the library meets all the communities needs and positions a beloved community institution at the center of community life for years to come.