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Seattle University


A Triumph for SU

Written by Stacy Howard and Mike Thee
July 16, 2012

Seattle University's Lemieux Library and McGoldrick Learning Commons has received a "New Landmark Library" award. Library Journal, the most widely read periodical in the library profession, recognized SU for its powerful blend of architecture, design and services. SU's library is one of just five in the nation to receive the honor. 

"This award is a triumph for Seattle University," said University Librarian John Popko. "It is a profoundly gratifying tribute to all those who believed in, and contributed to, our 10-year process of design, fund-raising and construction. Our students and faculty have embraced this facility and made it their own." 

And how! According to data provided by Doug Eriksen, coordinator of library technology, more than 706,000 patrons visited the library and learning commons in 2011-2012-that's nearly three times the traffic the Lemieux Library received in 2008-2009, its last year before the renovation and expansion.  

The New Landmark Libraries project, introduced in 2011, identifies trendsetting library buildings across the country. The awards are based on overall design and construction excellence, response to community context and constraints, sustainability, functionality, innovation, beauty and delight, and more.

"(Seattle University) created a landmark knowledge resource for the future that engages and inspires students today," Library Journal wrote. One judge had this to say: "This project is replete with superb spaces. While the details are well conceived, they are not overwrought. The conflation of architecture, landscape, and art makes for a beautifully sinuous project."

"Each of these winning libraries stood out in terms of the final project but also because of their process in arriving at the final design-the discussions with stakeholders, the focus on the needs of students and the success in overcoming challenges," said Francine Fialkoff, Library Journal's editor-in-chief. "These New Library Landmarks reinterpret the definition, concept and functionality of the traditional academic library."