Plainsboros first library was inaugurated in 1993, and the Library as a de facto community center has played a key role in the towns self definition as it grew. The new 46,000 s.f. facility in the heart of the ethnically diverse and rapidly growing community celebrates that fact, as a home for their increasingly ambitious program of services. In addition to its sizable collection of books and periodicals, their expanded program includes an internet caf, a childrens science center, a local history room, a personal health counseling office, and a community meeting space/auditorium.
The architecture literally showcases its community resources. Simple, geometric brick wings bracket an articulated glass steel center entrance and Main Reading Room. This material contrast emphasizes the Reading Rooms openness and transparency, and a lacy colonnade engages the plaza and square as a front lawn/outdoor reading room. Once inside, another outdoor room is revealed a directly accessible contemplative library Reading Garden. The third floor Childrens Level includes a tower element, from which a commissioned video artwork, projected onto the outwardly sloping ceiling will be a quietly intriguing landmark visible from afar. All of these asymmetrically arranged exterior architectural elements, evocative but not imitative of the areas traditional brick and white trim buildings, combine to express the contemporary mission of this 21st century library. The Library offers a bridge to the present, and has quickly become a source of civic pride and an emblem of community aspirations.