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Libraries as Social Infrastructure to Build Connection
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Merchandise Description

Libraries as Social Infrastructure to Build Connection​

About This Session:

The fundamental mission of the library is to overcome disconnectedness. We recognize that the first step towards overcoming social disconnectedness is to see and be seen. In this session, we will share two transformative designs for the Conestoga College library that strengthen the library’s function as a place of connection and addresses the community’s diverse needs. Trish Weigel Green, the director of Library Resource Centers at Conestoga College, will discuss how these visions were implemented in the most recent renovations on campus. Parisa Kohbodi will present her Architecture master’s thesis, a conceptual design that engages Conestoga College library with the larger context of the campus and the city. We will explore how speculative design can be used to identify different forms of disconnectedness and what parallels can we make to imagine alternative solutions to building inclusive library spaces.

Learning Goals:

- Discuss the different themes of disconnectedness experienced in the contemporary world

- Recognize how the library can address such problems through design at various scales

- Reflect on the broader context of the library as a driver in the planning and design of the library

About the Presenters:

Trish Weigel Green is the Director of Library Services at Conestoga College. Conestoga has three campus libraries including a new location at the recently renovated Waterloo Campus. At Conestoga Trish has had the opportunity to participate in a number of both large- and small-scale renovations. Some of these projects have included the renovation of staff areas, the build of a Tech Bar, the renovation/build of a Universal Access lab and most notably the complete renovation of the main campus Library which has won this year’s OLA Library Building Award for Library Architectural and Design Transformation.

Parisa Kohbodi is a designer with experience in programming and design of learning communities. She has worked on the renovation of a few higher education institutions in Massachusetts. Her growing interest in the design of libraries and learning commons led her to go back to the University of Waterloo and focus her master’s thesis on Conestoga College and its Library. Parisa is a strong advocate for a design process where research and programming can inform the design outcomes.


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