1 May 2006
On-Line Public Access Catalog (OPAC) Computers
Card catalogs have been replaced by OPAC computer terminals to look up information
regarding available materials. These terminals are personal computers that require
power and high-speed Internet connections to access the data networks. Public access
catalog database information is typically managed by outsourced providers that require
Internet connections to access this information. These terminals may also be utilized by
library staff to access ILS database resources provided they have the required
password access privileges.
Areas for general collections are composed of book stacks for fiction, non-fiction, and
paperback books that occupy a large majority of the public services space. The size of
the general collections and reading areas must be balanced between the required
number of reader stations and the size of the general book collection (including growth).
Military libraries vary considerably in the sizes of their general collections and their
needs for reader stations. The balance of space allocation to stacks and readers must
be determined individually for the facility in question. Consider the need for OPAC
computer stations located within the general collection stacks for customer and staff
Reading areas are composed of major and minor reading spaces. The majority of the
reader stations should be located in the main reading space of the public services area.
Minor reading spaces, containing some portion of the total reader stations, may be
scattered about in semi-remote locations for private reading or serious study. Small
general, branch, field, and expeditionary libraries may be too small to accommodate
minor reading spaces. Provide data ports and flush electrical outlets for laptops and
other equipment in the floor at each reading station. Coordinate spacing and location of
electrical outlets with the furnishings layout.
Outdoor Reading Terraces
Where the climate permits, consider an outdoor reading terrace that may be used for
adult casual reading or for children's story hours as an enriching addition to a library.
Depending on the climate, it may be shaded or exposed to the sun, or variable with the
time of day. The terrace should be entered from spaces visible from the circulation
desk and should have no exits to the outside except for emergency egress. Enclosure
should be a minimum of 2 meters (6 feet) high and visually permeable. Durable,
outdoor furnishings, furniture, and shading should be provided. Local conditions, such
as siting, building configuration, budget, and anticipated use should be used to justify
the appropriate size requirements.
Provide a dedicated space within the public services area for teenagers. Partially
enclosed spaces near periodicals, A/V stations, and other items frequently utilized by
teenagers are good locations for teen areas. Special collections for teens may also be
located near the teen area. Do not locate the teen area within the Children's areas.
Teen areas should include tables, chairs, lounge style seating, convenience electrical