Radical Redesign of Library Spaces

Meeting the Changing Needs of the our Public

Rethinking Space: The Princeton Public Library Story

In this colloquium we hear how Princeton Public Library is radically redesigning its space to better serve the changing information needs and information seeking behaviors of the public. Join Leslie Burger, founder of Library Development Services and former executive director of the Princeton Public Library along with Princeton Public Library's Assistant Director, Erica Bess and Development Director, Janet Simon along with Architect Andrew Berman as we explore the connection between design thinking, space planning and information needs, plus hear the tale of how one library is adapting.


7:00 - 7:05 - Welcome - Joyce Valenza

7:05 - 7:30 - Opening Remarks from our Panelists

7:30 - 8:15 - The Princeton Library Story - Panel Discussion

8:05 - 8:15 - Dialogue with the Public Library Directors

8:15 - 8:25 - Q & A with the Audience

8:25 - 8:30 - Closing Remarks

Attend Online

We will begin streaming this event starting a little before 7pm. Click on the link below to join the LiveStream. Please note that you have to log into LiveStream if you want to participate in our ongoing chat discussion or interact with panelists.

Leslie Burger - Panelist

Leslie Burger is the founding partner of Library Development Solutions, a Princeton based consulting firm founded in 1991. Until recently she was the executive director of the Princeton Public Library where she helped plan, design and secure the funding required for a new library that opened in 2004. In the last 18 months she led the effort for Princeton’s 2Reimagine project including design, funding and eliciting community support. Leslie is also an adjunct faculty member at Rutgers where she teaches management and leadership in the LIS concentration in SCI’s Masters of Information Science Program.

Leslie served as president of the American Library Association from July 2006 through June 2007 where she sponsored a variety of initiatives focused on how libraries transform communities they serve. She also served as president of the New Jersey and Connecticut Library Associations. Leslie attended library school at the University of Maryland in College Park, Maryland and also has a master’s degree in organizational behavior from the University of Hartford, West Hartford, CT. She received her BS from Southern Connecticut State College.

Erica Bess - Panelist

Erica Bess became Assistant Director at Princeton Public Library in February 2015 after four years as head of the Adult Services department. In addition to overseeing all public service functions, she is the manager of internal operations for the 2Reimagine renovation project. In 2013, Erica led the library’s efforts to win the American Library Association’s annual “Library of the Future” award. Prior to joining PPL, Erica was Head of Adult Programming and the Louise Parker Berry Fellow at Darien Library in Darien, CT. She earned an MLIS from Rutgers University in 2007.

Janet Simon - Panelist

Janet Simon is the development director at Princeton Public Library, and the project manager for the library’s $3M 2Reimagine renovation project. With former executive director, Leslie Burger, Janet has played a key role in the strategic planning and implementation for the library’s 2Reimagine Building Campaign and design project.

Janet has a 23 year professional background in architectural practice and was a partner of McCoy and Simon Architects for 18 years prior to joining the library staff. She graduated from UCLA with a degree in history and earned her Master of Architecture from the Southern California Institute of Architecture (Sci-Arc). She was the recipient of the AIA Gold Medal medal and thesis prize and won a national competition for the John Dinkeloo Traveling Fellowship sponsored by the National Institute for Architectural Education and the American Academy in Rome. McCoy and Simon Architects also earned Arizona AIA merit and honor awards for residential projects.

Andrew Berman - Panelist

Andrew Berman’s architectural work is focused on the realization of unique and finely executed buildings and spaces, capitalizing on specific qualities of place and the opportunities latent in each client’s program. Projects include artspaces, performance spaces, libraries, and private residences and work spaces. Andrew is currently working with the New York Public Library and the Princeton Public Library, and in 2014 participated in a creative study entitled Re-Invisioning Branch Libraries for New York City.

Andrew received a Bachelor of Arts from Yale College and a Master of Architecture from the Yale School of Architecture in 1988 where he was awarded the Takenaka Komuten Traveling Fellowship in Osaka, Japan. In 2010, Andrew received the Emerging Voices Award given by the Architectural League of New York, and in 2014 was made a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects.

Moderator: Joyce Valenza

Assistant Teaching Professor - Library and Information Science at the School of Communication & Information at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey

Instructor: Connie Pascal

MI Colloquium Coordinator, PhD Student - Library and Information Science at the School of Communication & Information at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey

Alexander Library, Scholarly Communications Center (SCC on the 4th Floor)

Wednesday, Feb. 17th, 7-9pm

169 College Avenue, New Brunswick, NJ, 08901

Contact: Connie Pascal connie.pascal@rutgers.edu for further information.

RSVPs are enabled for this event.