Bear Public Library Bear, Delaware

The reimagined Bear Public Library now accommodates the dynamic community – one of the most diverse in Delaware – with organized programmatic spaces.

  • Location

    Bear, Delaware

  • Sector


  • Service


  • Client

    New Castle County

  • Status


  • Size

    27,600 SF

Public activities at the Bear Public Library take place under the big tent – a 45-foot-tall conical single-story, open area that is home to all library services. The renovation of the 1990’s building reduces the apparent scale of the big tent and establishes a feeling of intimacy previously absent. As the most heavily used library in Delaware, the renovation maximizes the modest project cost with durable finishes that liven the library.

Four “lanterns” mark each of the customer service points in the library bringing scale and orientation to an existing expansive space. Visible from anywhere within the library, they create point of identity for the various sections — check out, information, children and technology. Floating weightlessly above the stacks, reading areas, and workstations, the lanterns are wrapped in illuminated translucent yellow polycarbonate skins held in place by slender pipe frames. The lanterns in conjunction with patterned carpet create a defined circulation path through the stacks. The lanterns shine as the symbol of the renovated library while providing orientation.