Four more for Library Life List

Who's counting? I've added four more libraries to my Life List on trips this summer, and two were design doozies. My sons were excited to show me the new fine art/architecture libraries on their campuses.

The Woolly Mammoth spent much of the spring semester in the Fine Arts and Architecture Library on the top floor of the new School of Architecture and Planning at the University of New Mexico writing papers. He knew I would get a kick from the the quiet study rooms, each with a different Herman Miller chair. I liked how the entrance to Pearl Hall provided a impromptu amphitheatre for sidewalk performers, and how the building offered many display spaces for student designs.

While the UNM architecture library seems stream-lined and air-filled, the cozy new architecture library at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, invites hunkering down with books. The lighting fixtures and shelving of the Wertz Art & Architecture Library in Alumni Hall are reminiscent of my grandma's old Carnegie Library in Pierce. Perhaps that is because the domed Alumni Hall was constructed in 1910 as the university library with the assistance of Andrew Carnegie and alumni funds. Alumni Hall was renovated in 1997, but I believe the Wertz Library addition is more recent. The comfy feel doesn't sacrifice any up-to-date technology or services for library users.

Again at Miami, I enjoyed displayed projects by architecture students, such as this hanging over a connecting walkway. Both architecture libraries featured exposed building materials and fixtures with successful study spaces, although the results were very different.

Miami University's main King Library has an inviting computer area open for use by campus visitors. This was a big plus, as I had an op-ed column to write during my trip. This is a link to some nice photos of King Library:


I'm not sure my son and his fiance considered the downtown Cincinnati Public Library a must-see on our walking tour before the Reds game, but I was intrigued to explore. The library was being heavily used late on a Saturday afternoon. Two buildings are connected by a walkway over a street. Each building has a pleasant reading garden, something I'd never seen before. Wilbur the Pig welcomes readers to the Children's Garden, a great place for library programs or individual reading.

Four vacation libraries bring my total to fifty-eight.

© 2009 Nancy L. Ruder

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