The Library Initiative

Scott Lauer, Harold Levy, Henry Myerberg, David Saltzman, Lonni Tanner
Introduced by Anooradha Iyer Siddiqi
Moderated by Rosalie Genevro

Wednesday, May 12
7:00 p.m.
Scholastic Auditorium
557 Broadway
1.5 CEUs

To see a slideshow of Library Initiative libraries, click here.

In the past decade, more than 50 new libraries have been created in New York City elementary schools through the combined efforts of the Robin Hood Foundation and New York City Board of Education. The Library Initiative brought together architects, educators, and school administrators to envision how libraries could function as educational and community centers in schools—inviting myriad learning opportunities, from quiet reading to collaborative performances. Architects for the libraries worked in partnership with individual school communities; many of the projects benefited as well from collaborations with graphic and industrial designers and artists.

Architects for the libraries included 1100 Architect, Dean/Wolf Architects, Deborah Berke & Partners Architects, Della Valle Bernheimer, Gluckman Mayner Architects, Alexander Gorlin Architects, Helfand Myerberg Guggenheimer Architects, Hester Street Collaborative, HMA2 Architects, Leroy Street Studio, Marpillero Pollak Architects, Paul Bennett Architect, Richard. H. Lewis Architect, Rockwell Group, Rogers Marvel Architects, Ronette Riley Architect, Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects, Tsao & McKown Architects, and Weiss/Manfredi Architecture/Landscape/Urbanism.

Graphic designers and muralists included 2×4, Alfalfa Studio, Automatic Art and Design, Christoph Niemann, Dave Johnson, Dorothy Kresz, Lynn Pauley, Maira Kalman, Pentagram Design, Peter Arkle, Raghava KK, Robin Hood Foundation, Sagmiester Inc., Tucker Viemeister, and Yuko Shimizu.

The program will examine the creation, development, and architectural expression of the libraries, as well as overarching issues such as the benefits and difficulties of this kind of public/private partnership; the role of libraries in education in the digital age; and the role of design in educational environments.


Anooradha Iyer Siddiqi, author of The L!brary Book: Design Collaborations in the Public Schools and a former director, The Library Initiative, Robin Hood Foundation


Scott Lauer, architect and a former Director, Library Initiative, Robin Hood Foundation

Harold Levy, Managing Director, Palm Ventures and former Chancellor of the New York City Department of Education

Henry Myerberg, principal, HMA2 architects

David Saltzman, Executive Director, Robin Hood Foundation

Lonni Tanner, founder, In Kindness and former Director of Special Projects, Robin Hood Foundation


Rosalie Genevro, executive director, The Architectural League of New York

The L!brary Book: Design Collaborations in the Public Schools will be available for purchase.

Tickets are required for admission to League programs. Tickets are free for League members; $10 for non-members. Members may reserve a ticket by e-mailing: Member tickets will be held at the check-in desk; unclaimed tickets will be released fifteen minutes after the start of the program. Non-members may purchase tickets here from May 5 until 3:00 p.m. the day of the program.

Co-sponsored by Scholastic. AIA and New York State continuing education credits are available.

This program is made possible, in part, by public funds from the National Endowment for the Arts and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the New York State Council on the Arts, a State Agency, and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council.

L!brary logo by Pentagram Design