“In the early planning phase for a Public Library to serve New Orleans’ Central City community, VergesRome Architects enlisted Elisabeth Martin, of MDA designgroup, to assist in developing a conceptual program with accompanying plans and elevations for presentations to Library System leadership and the City Council. Elisabeth put her heart into the project and the team was able to present a clear direction for a Library destination that will positively impact the neighborhood and its citizens, which has now advanced beyond the feasibility phase into a full design project, with funding secured.” – Steve Rome, VergesRome Architects
“We are very excited to see Ms.Martin’s design come to life… with her expertise and passion for library design, she gave us a design that was both beautiful and functional. She did this by listening to what we had to say about what works. She sought balance. She understood our needs and went the extra mile. She stood up to the general contractor and campus architects when necessary. She speaks their language. She was a strong library advocate in the midst of all the interests that go into building a new law school.” – April Schwartz, Director, Touro Law Center Library
“It was a challenging assignments the public perception of the Library on the part of the average patron was that no changes were necessary. Elisabeth Martin tackled this assignment with sensitivity, thoroughness and creativity – resulting in a positive dialogue with all parties involved, and a well-executed report that addressed all concerns raised. She brought her knowledge off library practices and services to the report in a customized fashion that was clearly not a formulaic process.” – Maxine Bleiweis, Director, Westport Public Library
“Elisabeth Martin’s work for the Brooklyn Public Library system consistently focused on enhancing the end-user experience and setting high standards. Challenges inspired her rather than dissuaded her. Her penchant for bringing ever higher levels of quality to the public realm set an example for other libraries around the country.” – Jeffrey Hoover, Principal,Tappé Associates
“Elisabeth Martin is unique. Her training and deep experience in architecture is equally matched by her knowledge of libraries—from the mission of libraries to the services they deliver to how users interact with library staff and buildings. She works wonderfully with clients—the library staff, other stakeholders, and the library’s users—and understands instinctively the collaborative process that goes into creating a great library. More than nearly any librarian that I know, Elisabeth understand the shifts in library services—how libraries are repositioning themselves for learners in the 21st Century—and can work with a library to support these changes through design.” – Brian Kenney, Former BPL Youth Division Director, current Director of White Plains Public Library
“I invited Elisabeth to help with a community-based effort to save Sag Harbor’s historic John Jermain Library – threatened with possible demolition which might have resulted from a proposal by the Library Board to move to a new building on the outskirts of the Village. She led a community meetings and a day-long charrette to explore alternatives to the Library Board’s proposal. Her creative thinking and ability to bring a diverse group of people together were remarkable and ultimately led to a reversal of the Board’s decision. Following the charrette, she developed conceptual designs and budgets for an expansion to the existing library which have subsequently been adopted and are currently being implemented.” – Nicholas Quennell, FASLA, Quennell Rothschild & Partners
Despite Elisabeth Martin’s wise and skilled and talented leadership in every regard, the John Jermain Library Board sought a participant uninvolved in the studies and her firm ultimately did not end up with the commission. But the work Elisabeth did advocating for the renewal of a historic jewel of a building on a difficult cramped site did result in the library’s remaining where it should be and has been for a century: in the heart of the village. Elisabeth showed us the way. MDA designgroup’s design was beautiful, appropriate, and economical. Her passion, her clarity, her studies, and her designs helped us achieve consensus. And discover a lasting solution.” – Mac Griswold, Co-Chair of the John Jermain Future Fund.
As the community’s needs evolve, the physical library has to adapt. Librarians are brilliant at information logistics. Architects and planners are brilliant at looking at space in new ways. Together, they made every cubic inch of space in the Court Square Branch work to the customer’s advantage,” – QBPL Library Director Thomas W. Galante.
It’s a joy to be able to re-think the way the space is used from the customer’s perspective, and to end up with such an elegant, coherent whole,” – Maureen O’Connor, QBPL Director of Library Services.
Design Consultant Wows Library Board “The Garden City Public Library’s Board of Trustees meeting . . . featured a potential look at the Garden City community library space of the future. A dramatic transformation is imagined from a building that dates back half-a century . . . Chief among Martin’s goals was the need to increase transparency and visibility, as her 13 sketches and CADD renderings showed extensive uses of glass and resin panels to see through areas around, above and below . . . Martin says this objective is to open internal vistas and sight lines at GCPL and enhance patrons’ connections to the library by making its entry space exciting, full of light and full of activity.” – Rikki N. Massand, Garden City News.