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A/V Profile: Systems Technology Comes To The Public Library

New technologies are accepted, and even demanded, by the general public, and facilities of this type are increasingly responding to accommodate this reality

By Keith Clark October 15, 2010

The classic definitions of a wide range of facilities are now being altered dramatically, thanks in large part to the development, and deployment, of constantly improving multimedia technologies.

Case in point: The Herrick District Library, located in Holland, Michigan. It had long fit the time-honored role of what we’ve all come to think of with mention of the term “library” – that is, stacks and rows of books, along with healthy doses of periodicals and reference materials. However, an impressive expansion and renovation project points to a new definition of public libraries.

“The library board envisioned a bigger, better facility taking full advantage of multimedia tools for learning, and for making the library a true resource for the community,” explains George Kruggel, who headed up the design and implementation of audio, video and lighting systems for the project.

“At the same time, they also realized that in certain respects, the library is being compared to, and in competition with, the Barnes & Nobles’ of the world. The need to provide the same quality of experience as these well-financed retail establishments also played a role in the direction of this project.”

Kruggel spearheaded the technical design aspects of the renovated Herrick District Library with GMB Architects & Engineers of Holland, the engineering firm of record on the project.

“As an electrical engineer, George has a very good understanding of electronics, as well as systems layout, and he also has a good feel for what the customer wants,” notes Gary Zandstra of Integrated Media Group of Byron Center, Michigan, which supplied A/V system installation and design support at the library. “He also recognizes that technology is changing really fast, and that’s where we have collaborated with him to great success.”

(Editor’s note – Gary, who is also a contributor to PSW Church Sound, is now with the AV Systems division of Parkview Electric of Holland, Michigan.)

New Environment
The original Herrick District building, constructed in the late 1950s, still functioned very well in its capacity as a typical library. As a result, it was retained, joined by a new three-story annex integrated with the old structure, which was given a makeover.

The revamped, futuristic exterior of the Herrick Library gives a clue to its new high-tech interior. (click to enlarge)

The result is a huge, sparkling facility, featuring uniquely modern architecture: huge windows, shimmering glass, stainless steel and white marble, and unique distribution of lighting fixtures designed exclusively for this project by Kruggel.

“It’s an open, pleasant, stimulating environment,” he notes. “The library should be a place that you want to visit, to utilize, to stay as long as you like. It has to be comfortable, highly functional and easy to use.”

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About Keith

Keith Clark
Keith Clark

Editor In Chief, ProSoundWeb & Live Sound International
Keith has covered professional audio and systems contracting for more than 25 years, authoring hundreds of articles in addition to hands-on work in every facet of publishing. He fostered the content of ProSoundWeb (PSW) from its inception, helping build pro audio’s largest portal website, and has also served for several years as editor in chief of Live Sound International (LSI).


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