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Rakow Library

Gail Borden Public Library District

Elgin, Illinois

Elgin, IL

The Rakow Library is designed to provide popular library services and offer a sustainable learning laboratory for the community. The new library decided to provide only popular materials, children’s area, and essential administration areas. This model highlights the portions of the library collections and services which are most utilized and does not attempt to duplicate the main library.

The design of the 10,000 sf library integrates cool daylighting, geothermal and on-site stormwater management. This eye to efficiency is carried through the planning to allow the library to operate this branch with a minimum number of staff. Emphasizing customer interaction over material handling as the primary staff function will maintain the desired quality of library service. “Floating” librarians, express check, digital reference and automated sorting are features of this new model for library service. The Geothermal System (Ground Source Heat Exchange) is a closed loop system that circulates through a vertical well field. The field contains wells of sufficient depth and quantity to meet the building’s energy needs.


  • This project is LEED®-Gold

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