Award-winning Library

Library and Learning Commons receives landmark honor from Library Journal

Written by Stacy Howard
Photography by Doug J. Scott and Chris Joseph Taylor
July 2, 2012

Seattle University’s Lemieux Library and McGoldrick Learning Commons is an inspiring building. And now, an award-winning one as well.

Recently, the library and learning commons was given a “New Landmark Library” award by Library Journal, the most widely read periodical in the profession. Library Journal recognized our library for its blend of architecture, design and services. The SU library is one of just five in the nation to receive the honor.
The library and learning commons, which opened in fall 2010, is the intellectual heart of campus. The Lemieux Library and McGoldrick Learning Commons creates a multipurpose space not only for learning but also for socializing and exploring. The structure houses quiet and active spaces for students to work; there are high-tech computer labs, a media production center, writing and math centers, a coffeehouse-style café called The Byte and more.

Architecturally, the building’s façade features a mix of the old—the existing library of the 1960s—and the new, with the striking front glass wall and outdoor patio-style seating. Inside, there is ample art on the walls, with accent walls painted in bold colors and modern lighting that illuminates the vast and varied spaces.

“This recognition has really honored the vision and aspirations of the entire campus community,” says University Librarian John Popko. “It corroborates the responses of our students and faculty who have embraced this facility, made it their own and whose educational and academic experiences can be transformed by it.”
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.
“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,” says Francine Fialkoff, Library Journal’s Editor-in-Chief. “These New Library Landmarks reinterpret the definition, concept and functionality of the traditional academic library.”
Read more about the Lemieux Library and McGoldrick Learning Commons here.

library exterior award The award-winning library in all its glory. (Photo by Doug J. Scott)
The front greenspace outside of the libary is a popular spot for students and the campus community on spring and summer days.