Scott Bennett was a consultant on library space planning. His consulting practice was rooted in a research, publication, and public speaking program he has conducted since retiring from Yale University in 2001, where he was University Librarian. He is the author of Libraries Designed for Learning (2003) and an ongoing series of highly regarded and often cited essays on library space planning publishedScott Bennett since 2005.

Scott was successful in helping clients to understand the unprecedented situation of academic libraries; to engage with a paradigm shift in services; and to position institutional mission as the chief driver of space design. He didthis by working skillfully with students, faculty, academic staff, administrators, and librarians, both individually and in groups. He urged that information technologists and student services staff be included in library planning. He advocated a depth of collaboration among classroom faculty, librarians, and other academic staff that is transformational in its impact on student learning, on the work of librarians, and on the professional identity of all those involved.

Some features of his consulting practice:

  • Over 50 clients, since 2004, in the United States and abroad with renovation and new construction projects ranging in likely cost from under $50,000 to over $100 million.
  • Focuses on the initial visioning part of library planning. Distinguishes between “first questions” relating to learning and institutional mission and “second questions” relating to library operations.
  • Planning driven by considerations of learning and influenced by considerations of technology.


  • Retired, 2001- ; Senior Advisor for the library program of the Council of Independent Colleges, 2001-2009 ; researcher and consultant on library space design, 2004- ; member of the Wartburg College Library Advisory Board, 2004- ; frequent speaker on library and learning space planning
  • University Librarian, Yale University, 1994-2001; directed c. $70 million in capital projects
  • Director, The Milton S. Eisenhower Library, The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland, 1989-1994; proposed a major renovation of this library
  • Assistant University Librarian for Collection Management, Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois, 1981-1989; directed the partial renovation of the historic Charles Deering Library
  • Instructor, Assistant and Associate Professor of Library Administration, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1974-1981
  • Assistant Professor of English, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1967-1974


University of Illinois, M.S., 1976 (Library Science)

Indiana University, M.A., 1966; Ph.D., 1967 (English)

Oberlin College, A.B. magna cum laude, 1960 (English)