A soundscape approach to exploring design strategies for acoustic comfort in modern public libraries: a case study of the Library of Birmingham.

Libraries have been traditionally associated with quiet and silent spaces. In the past, this was due to the fact that they used to host a relatively limited number of functions (e.g. storage of books, reading and studying) that did not include any particular sound source, and the architecture itself was designed to inspire silence and self- control [1]. However, the concept and designs of modern public libraries seem to aim at more vibrant environments (e.g. audio-visual materials and media formats), which are beyond the simple reading-related functions of traditional libraries.