“Simply Spectacular”

Longtime patron—and steward—marvels at new library and learning commons

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Story by: Mike Thee
Published: 2010-09-28

Associate Professor of History Dave Madsen’s relationship with the Lemieux Library goes back decades. Not only did he spend countless hours studying in the building as an undergraduate during the 1960s, but as a student worker in Plant (known today as Facilities) he played an integral part in waxing the library’s floors for the first time. “I was the ‘man on the buffer,’” he remembers. “This occurred during spring break of 1967.”

So what does Madsen think of the 2010 iteration of the Lemieux Library and its new partner, the McGoldrick Learning Commons? As it happens, Madsen is on his way to the library’s faculty and staff lounge just as the question is posed.  

“I have been through the Palace of Popko (and Sepulveda and Hartley and Novak and Gilles and all the other unnamed but very patient librarians and staff),” he says. “It is simply spectacular and—more amazingly—it came in on time. That was critically important to the faculty.

“The colors are lovely, the study and lounge spaces and their configurations are varied, and the PAs are finally on the same floor with the DFs. The last is important to an aging classicist.”

(For those of you out there who are as uninitiated as this writer was, PAs and DFs, as Madsen explains, refer to the Library of Congress Classification System. “PA is where Greek and Roman literature is found,” he says, “while DF is where Greek and Roman history is shelved.”)

“The tech element I am less qualified to judge; I am and will remain a book man,” Madsen continues. “My only disappointment is that my suggestion for the name of the café was runner-up to The Byte.” (Madsen’s entry: “Cup and Chaucer.”)

This Thursday, Madsen will again factor prominently in the library’s history. No, he won’t be buffing the floors; this time around, as grand marshal, he will lead the procession of faculty, staff and students from the Mass of the Holy Spirit down the hill to the formal dedication of the library and learning commons.


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