Dateline: April Fool's Day, 2015
In a dramatic turn of events, the plan to renovate Langsdale Library has been scrapped in favor of a plan to demolish the current building and construct a replacement on the existing site. Peter Keating of the renowned architectural firm Francon & Hayes has been chosen to design the new structure. As Mr. Keating himself has said, you should “choose the builder of your library as carefully as you choose the books that inhabit it,”* and the University of Baltimore has certainly done that with this selection.
At first glance, the plans for the new library may raise some eyebrows. For example, unlike other new buildings on campus, there is only one pane of exterior glass. Mr. Keating explained the decision saying that “windows are less important than the dignity of a building’s façade”.**
In addition, the new building is not so much a single building as a collection of smaller ones. “It turns out that demolishing a building is really expensive. Especially when we have to make sure there is no damage to the Lyric which sits right next to it,” explained Library Director Lucy Holman. Since the demolition of the current building will require the use of most of the funds allocated for the previously planned renovation, Mr. Keating demonstrated why he was chosen to lead this project by devising a brilliant plan to replace Langsdale with an installation of 25 Little Free Libraries on the site. Head of Book and Document Delivery Carol Vaeth, who has installed a Little Free Library at her home, was ecstatic over this plan. The Little Free Library really helps to “create a sense of community. People stop and talk to each other” while browsing the books, she said.
Library Director Holman explained that the university hopes
to raise funds to provide more than just the 25 Little Free Libraries. A special incentive will be offered to anyone
who donates $300 or more, so that we can order additional “Urban Readers”. The $300+ donors, as long as they are able to come to the site of the Langsdale Installation and assemble a
little free library for us, will be given the opportunity to engrave their initials on
the back. The library expects many
members of the UB community to be very excited at the opportunity to
participate in this project. “I believe we will have at least 27, maybe even 28 of these things by the time we are done,”
exclaimed Director Holman.
|"little free libraries" by david silver, on Flickr CC by-NC-SA 2.0|
Some day, the site of Langsdale could look like this.
* This may not be exactly what Mr. Keating said, but it is reasonably close.** This is an actual quote, although it may have been said in a slightly different context.
WAIT, DON'T PANIC: This was entry was posted on on April Fool's Day . You can read about the actual renovation plans here: https://theubpost.wordpress.com/2015/02/24/library-insider-3/