What are libraries for?

Libraries are so much more than just a place for reading. They structure urban space and help create an identity for the community and the people who live there. The decision to build or renovate a library is first and foremost an act of political will, particularly in terms of architectural, spatial, and social planning. The author studies cases from Mérignac and Sotteville-lès-Rouen to demonstrate that libraries can become –or rediscover their role as– social hubs with a powerful symbolic dimension for the local community, making it a more desirable place to be.