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Facilities & Infrastructure


Library spaces, both physical and virtual, offer the community a compelling environment to explore, gather, learn, engage, and relax while ensuring equitable access to all.



Libraries serve as a hub for each community member or group to gain what they need, access with ease, and feel a sense of belonging. To achieve this, this Standard includes four checklist areas: General, Building Exterior, Building Interior, and Technology Infrastructure.

Library facilities and online spaces serve as havens, designed to address various needs and interests. Carefully planned design allows for a wide range of uses, including reading, studying, meeting, exploring, creating, and playing. The spaces also offer ways to strengthen community identity and social bonds. Library facilities can also be an anchor for economic development and neighborhood vitalization.

Like the library building, the technology infrastructure is a key asset for delivering on the library’s promise to serve as a community hub, information access point, and cultural center. Public library facilities are designed for ease of access to library services, including checking out and returning materials to ensure use for all members of the community.

At the same time, safety, and security are vital to maintain libraries and those working in and using them. Library staff, leadership, and governing authorities are proactive in maintaining facilities and technology to meet safety and security needs.

Carbondale Branch of Garfield County Public Library District

Checklists as PDF

Facilities & Infrastructure

Essentials for All Public Libraries


  • Meet required safety and fire codes.
  • Ensure accessibility to all members of the community, conforming to the Americans with Disabilities Act and C.R.S. §§ 24-34-801 – 24-34-805 for buildings, grounds, and virtual spaces. Apply universal design principles to transform access for all.
  • Develop policies and procedures for effective public use of facilities, including:
    • Public use of the library so that all may use and work at the library respectfully.
    • Library user privacy in accordance with the C.R.S § 24-90-119.
    • Displays and meeting rooms use policies.
    • Technology access and use, including security and privacy procedures, content filters for public computers used by children (in compliance with the federal Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA) and Colorado’s Library Filtering law, C.R.S. §§ 24-90-601 – 24-90-606).
    • Guidelines, including schedules, for maintaining and improving building(s), grounds, technology infrastructure, and other infrastructure.
  • Budget for sufficient maintenance and ongoing development of buildings, grounds, and technology infrastructure. See also: Budget and Finance Standard.
  • Maintain a continuity of operations plan that provides guidance on response to staff transitions and emergency situations in the facility, with the network, and other disruptive circumstances.
    • Include a disaster-recovery plan associated with the facility and technology resources and infrastructure, including functions such as data archiving, recovery testing, and restoration of assets and services.
    • Ensure staff are apprised of protocols, such as in the case of data breach or ransomware attacks.
    • See resources for a template Library Factbook for smaller libraries and other templates and guidance.
    • Provide public emergency alerts in the languages of those who live in the community.
    • Municipal, County, Other Libraries: Work with the local municipal, county, and other agencies to plan local emergency procedures.

Building Exterior & Grounds

  • Install signs in the community that direct people to the library.
  • Provide a well-lit exterior with signage that clearly identifies the building from the street.
  • Prominently post hours of operation outside the library.
  • Ensure sufficient, well-lit parking for library access. Include bike racks and other systems for parking various types of vehicles.
  • Provide a convenient, safe book return location(s) during the hours the library is closed.
  • Provide 24/7 Wi-Fi access for public access outside of library hours.

Building Interior

  • Provide a flexible, well-designed interior that encourages self-directed as well as collaborative use of the library.
  • Offer adequate space to fulfill the library’s stated mission and goals. Examples of space needs include:
    • Storytime & early literacy
    • Study
    • Quiet areas
    • Public meeting
    • Programming
    • Displays
    • Materials access and use
    • Public computing or personal computer use
    • Arts, crafts, and other creative activities
  • Establish separate areas for staff workspace(s), bathroom, and breaks with signage indicating that these are not public spaces. As needed, provide a private staff area for nursing and storage of breast milk.
  • Maintain storage space for library collections, displays, programming materials, and equipment.
  • Allow easy access to electrical and cabling outlets to support current technology.
  • Provide non-gendered bathrooms when feasible and with remodeled and new construction as required by C.R.S. § 9-7.5-103.

Technology Infrastructure

  • Provide access to current and emerging technology tools and applications, including a public telephone and dedicated wired and wireless Internet connections that support simultaneous use.
  • Implement ongoing, adaptive, and overlapping security practices at the device, server, and network levels to ensure the system as well as data storage, transmission, and retrieval are secure. Security practices include a combination of firewalls, access-control lists, intrusion prevention, regular system security updates, and commercial antivirus/anti-malware software packages.
  • Sustain and refresh technology infrastructure, including broadband, to support library operations and services, with a schedule for ongoing network and other technology assessments.
  • Ensure that vital data is backed up with adequate frequency, based on the amount and type of data. Backups should be stored on removable media or cloud-based storage, and tested regularly to ensure they function properly for recovery or restoration.
  • Ensure the technology plan addresses how technology integrates with and supports library operations, services, programs, collections facilities, and staff. The plan aligns with the library’s overall strategic goals and mission, documents what technology is used, and includes ongoing staff development.
  • Participate in E-Rate to gain a robust technology infrastructure with financial support. Collaborate with local schools, health, and other local anchor institutions to leverage E-Rate funds and other grants to build local and/or regional broadband infrastructure.

Facilities & Infrastructure Essentials +

Checklist for Larger Libraries


  • Offer mobile library services to residents throughout the community, such as a bookmobile, book bike, or other vehicle for materials and broadband services that reach distant and/or homebound residents.
  • Install signage for welcoming spaces and ease of wayfinding, including multilingual signage based on local community demographics.
  • Provide changing tables in all public bathrooms, including adult changing areas when feasible.
  • Maintain security cameras and other measures that support safety and security in and around the facilities. Maintain user privacy when using video footage within the library privacy law (C.R.S. § 24-90-119).
  • Prepare a long-range facility plan which addresses community needs, projected growth, and maintenance practices. Review the facility plan annually and revise it at least every five years.
  • Maintain a capital line in the annual budget for maintaining buildings, grounds, interior furnishings, etc. 
  • Seek the professional expertise of a library planner and/or library architect for any new construction or major remodeling.
  • Select sustainable building solutions, such as solar, geothermal, LED lighting, xeriscaping, recycling, locally sourced materials, etc. to reduce environmental impacts and model strategies for the community.
  • Invest in dedicated staff or contract services to maintain buildings, grounds, and technology infrastructure.
  • Perform regular security audits, risk assessments, and staff training, including simulations and drills and coordination with local law enforcement, to prepare for emergency situations.

Building Exterior & Grounds

  • Provide flexible access to the library, considering drive-through windows, curbside service, and other access services. Offer after-hours and/or non-library hubs for pick-up and check out of library materials, such as pick up lockers, book returns, vending/lending machines for physical materials, Little Free Libraries, access to digital materials, and Wi-Fi services on library property.
  • Provide bus passes or other alternative transportation methods to support access to the building and services.
  • Install charging stations for e-vehicles when relevant for local needs.Building Interior
  • Design and display to accommodate sightlines throughout the library public spaces to support safety and security measures.
  • Maintain usage statistics, including library visits gate count, and compare them to space allocation standards to ensure library facilities meet community demands.
  • Perform a safety/security audit of the facility on a regular basis and in coordination with the police, fire, and other safety services in the community.
  • Provide spaces for local artists and exhibitors, including protocols for liability agreements in case something is damaged or stolen.

Technology Infrastructure

  • Participate in a local/regional broadband consortium to coordinate middle and last mile infrastructure in smaller communities.
  • Separate the staff network from the public access network.
  • Achieve the state broadband speed goal of 25Megabites per second (download) and 10Megabites per second (upload) up per Internet-accessible device.
  • Continue to assess and improve broadband based on local availability and community needs.

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