Design Institute | Columbia, SC

Hosted by Library Journal in partnership with the Richland Library—at its ambitious Main Library renovation—this installment of our library building and design event will bring you the latest trends in library design. Dig deep with architects, librarians, and vendors to explore building/renovating/retrofitting spaces both large and small that will redefine the relationship with your users and engage your community.


This full-day think tank provides expert panel discussions with architects and librarians, as well as hands-on, architect-led breakout sessions dealing with real-life design challenges submitted in advance by you and your fellow attendees and a keynote from Richland Library's Melanie Huggins on Design Think and the Studio Model.

Come prepared to pitch your questions to architects in Design Consultations or attend a Power Session on Fundraising with EveryLibrary's John Chrastka.

There will be plenty of face time and networking opportunities throughout the day with colleagues, too.

Arrive early on May 2, 2019 for an optional afternoon tour of four Richland libraries – Ballentine, St. Andrews, Wheatley, and Main - hosted by Library Journal, Richland Library and our tour sponsor Liolio. All libraries feature on the tour feature the studio model.

To be invoiced for your registration or pay with a PO, please email your request to

This event is open to librarians, library board or foundation members, and regional planners/officials. If you are an architect and would like to sponsor one of our 2019 Design Institute events, please contact Advertising Director Roy Futterman:

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Arrive early on May 2nd to join Library Journal, Richland Library and Liollio Architecture for an optional half-day tour of four amazing libraries in the Columbia area, including Ballentine, St. Andrews, Wheatley, and Main, some featuring the studio model. The tour will leave from Columbia Marriott City Center at 12:00pm and conclude at 4:00pm. The tour is free but space is limited.

9:00-9:30 AM | Registration and Continental Breakfast

9:30-9:40 AM | Welcome Remarks

Rebecca T. Miller, Editorial Director, Library Journal & School Library Journal
Location: Auditorium (Garden Level)

9:40-10:20 AM | Keynote: “Library as Studio”

Presented by: Melanie Huggins, Executive Director,
Richland Library, Columbia, SC

Huggins will discuss the Library as Studio vision and approach that has guided the transformation of the entire Richland library system—with the opening of 12 renovated and/or new locations and a 13th in construction—and has made the library a vital partner and catalyst for solving problems and creating opportunities for the community to learn, create, and share together.

10:20-11:00 AM | Expert Panel: Renovating the Future

Need room for adults to collaborate or for quiet study? For Makerspaces or media labs? For interactivity for kids and for teens? Get the nitty
gritty from architects on how they can help redesign your existing space whatever your needs—and size.  


Heather Mitchell, President, Boudreaux Inspired Design
David Moore, Principal, McMillan Pazdan Smith Architecture
Lyna Vuong, Senior Design Strategist, Margaret Sullivan Studio
Moderator: Melanie Huggins, Executive Director, Richland Library

11:00-11:10 AM | Industry Spotlight: Bibliotheca

11:10-12:55 PM | Break and Breakout Sessions Featuring Real-Life Design Challenges

Select your breakout when you register and participate in an interactive, architect-led workshop with other attendees.

Breakout 1: Berkeley County Library, SC
LED BY: Liollio Architecture
Location: Room 213 (2nd Level)

Breakout 2: Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, PA
LED BY: Margaret Sullivan Studio
Location: Learning Engagement Classroom (3rd Level)

Breakout 3: Manatee County Library, FL
LED BY: HBM Architects
Location: Room 214 (2nd Level)

Breakout 4: Horry County Memorial Library, SC
LED BY: Boudreaux Inspired Design & McMillan Pazdan Smith Architecture
Location: Teen Makerspace (Garden Level)

12:55-1:55 PM | Lunch

1:55-2:15 PM | Keynote: Fundraising Basics

Presented by: John Chrastka, Executive Director, EveryLibrary Chrastka, the founder of EveryLibrary, the first nationwide PAC for libraries, gives an overview of how to get your project funded.

2:15-2:25 PM Industry Spotlight: Techlogic

2:25-3:05 PM Architects Present: Takeaways from the Breakout

Peter Bolek, HBM Architects, Manatee County Library, FL
Jennifer Charzewski & Liz Corr, Liollio Architecture, Berkeley County  Library, SC
Heather Mitchell, Boudreaux Inspired Design, & David Moore, McMillan Pazdan Smith Architecture, Horry County Memorial Library, SC
Neely Leslie & Lyna Voung, Margaret Sullivan Studio, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh

3:05-3:15 PM Industry Spotlight: Biblioboard  

3:15-3:30 PM Break

3:30-4:00 PM Expert Panel: Community-Responsive Design

Hear how architects work with you and your stakeholders—the public, funders, staff, etc.—to identify and articulate the vision, collect stakeholder input, and turn vision into reality.

Peter Bolek, President, HBM Architects
Jennifer Charzewski, Principal, Liollio Architecture
Moderator: Leesa Aiken, Director, South Carolina State Library

4:00-4:15 PM Industry Spotlight: 3Branch

4:15-5:00 PM Concurrent Sessions:

A. Design Consultations with Architects

Boudreaux and McMillan Pazdan Smith
Margaret Sullivan Studio

B. Power Session: Next Steps in Funding Your Project

John Chrastka, EveryLibrary
Location: Theater (2nd Level)

John Chrastka is a founder and executive director of EveryLibrary, the first Super PAC for libraries. Since 2012, EveryLibrary has provided pro-bono support to 96 library communities with ballot measures and tax referendum, helping win over $320 million in stable tax funding. He is a former Board president of the Berwyn (IL) Public Library and RAILS, the Reaching Across Illinois Libraries System. Prior to EveryLibrary he was a partner in AssociaDirect, an association consultancy, was Director for Membership Development at ALA, and was a co-founder of the educational technology start-up ClassMap. He was recognized by Library Journal in 2014 as a Mover & Shaker

Melanie Huggins is the executive director of Richland Library in Columbia, SC, which received the 2017 National Medal for Museum and Library Service, the nation’s highest honor. Melanie was named a 2018 Woman of Distinction by the Girl Scouts of South Carolina - Mountains to Midlands for her lasting impact in the community and was an honoree of Columbia Regional Business Report’s 2018 Women of Influence.  She recently received the 2018 Stephen G. Morrison Visionary Award from One Columbia for Arts and History. Her work is influenced by her belief that libraries are uniquely positioned to make communities more livable, resilient, and inclusive.  

Melanie is a recognized leader in the library profession, having held trustee positions with both the Urban Libraries Council and the Public Library Association.  In 2012, she was named South Carolina Outstanding Librarian by the South Carolina Library Association. She is a Liberty Fellow; member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network and the Riley Diversity Leaders Institute; Vice President of the TogetherSC Board; Vice President of the University of South Carolina’s University Associates Board; and City Center Partnership Board Member. 




3 branch biblioboard




Product Sponsors

HBM Architects liollio margaret sullivan studio

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