Subtle Coolness · chrono index · alpha index

The Architecture and Planning Library

by William Jackson on 2005-11-30

I like libraries. A week and a half ago I explored the Life Science Library and subconsciously decided that the Universityʼs libraries are the Universityʼs coolest places. Hold on tight while I elaborate on this thought.

Welcome to the Architecture and Planning Library. What exactly is being planned here I have yet to discover. Doubtless my capable iBook and I will uncover this mystery.

Here I am in the Reading Room, as before. Iʼm quickly concluding that every good library needs a room specifically designated for reading. Otherwise, there probably wouldnʼt be much reading being done at all.

The ceiling must be at least thirty feet above the floor, and itʼs peaked, so there are rafters (like in some ancient kingʼs hall). There are many long desks with sturdy-backed chairs, and lamps. All the lamps are on because itʼs evening. A dozen chandeliers hang from the lofty ceiling as well. Iʼm sure during the day the light coming through all these windows would be gorgeous. Iʼll have to come back another time.

Iʼm sitting on a leather couch, facing another leather couch, with comfortable-looking armchairs on either side. All this furniture in the immediate vicinity is surrounding a flowery rug. On the rug, in the center, is a piece of furniture thatʼs too short and too narrow to be a table, while at the same time too wide to be a bench. The only obvious conclusion is obviously happy: itʼs a footrest! I know some other libraries that could use a good footrest.

Hereʼs a moderately sized model of a Mayan temple, encased in glass. This is an architecture library after all. I also might as well make a habit of telling you what page the big dictionary is turned to: malleolable - man. Iʼll spare you the contents of the stacks today.

In proper story-telling manner, Iʼve saved the best for last. As I sit on my comfortable couch with my feet propped up to just the right height on this welcome footrest, I need but merely turn my head a little to the left to gaze upon the libraryʼs Christmas tree. She must be seven feet tall, and all surrounded with red, green and white pearls, like a 1920s jazz club. Full of multicolored lights and candy canes, I am reminded of home. We used to lay on our backs near the tree, and as the randomly flashing lights painted the ceiling in unpredictable patterns, we make-believed we were shooting through hyperspace on our way to who-knows-where.

I like libraries, but I love Christmas.