Westfield State University Ely Library

Westfield, MA

PCA has been instrumental in turning this shared vision into a reality. Libraries are the heart of an institution, and PCA’s design allows our students and faculty to navigate in a more thoughtful, social, and efficient manner. The students and WSU are thrilled with the new library design and layout.

– Evan S. Dobelle, President, Westfield State University


Westfield State University


Craft and implement a study for programmatic updates, including new layout, finishes, furnishings, and systems.


Craft a document of needs and wants in order to best serve the future interests of Westfield’s student body.


PCA started with a 2008 program statement and interviewed library staff about usage patterns, programming trends, and spatial needs. The result of this evaluation was a collection of programmatic recommendations which allowed the University to better understand and clarify their design objectives, which included: making a strong first impression; appropriately utilizing spatial volumes for stacks versus social spaces; locating active, higher energy spaces front and center while pushing quieter uses deeper into the library; emphasizing computing needs with more, better-functioning workstations; and increasing the visibility of group study areas.


Working within the limits of funding availability, PCA crafted a multi-phase approach. Phase 1, recently completed, focused on aesthetics and organization as well as integration of new technology requirements. Phase 2 of the project will include new lighting and furniture, additional study rooms, a larger classroom, updates to the university archives, and safety and infrastructure upgrades.