A good librarian cautions against relying on Google as a primary research tool, but I did it anyway for the term: NATURAL LIGHT. In both text and images, Google’s top responses are not about the glorious light radiating from the sun, as I intended, but about beer! Occasionally beer may be found on a college campus, but the natural light I refer to are the endorphin-building solar rays that will be plentiful in the new Academic Commons at Penrose Library, now under construction at the University of Denver.
Much has already been said of the whiz-bang technology that will be found in the Academic Commons, along with raves about other planned state-of-the-art features, but lighting matters. Not only does light allow us to see where we are going, but light compels us and leads the way. As light illumines, so are we enlightened by what occurs in a library. The Academic Commons will be lit at night, like a beacon, attracting students and faculty to this most important resource at the heart of the DU campus. Like a beacon, the Academic Commons will help members of the DU community navigate their academic and intellectual journeys.
The architecture of the Academic Commons features brilliance, including a large skylight in the roof and clerestory windows. Internally, an atrium and glass walls promote the flow of light from the roof across the main and upper levels. As you can see in the photo, work has begun to allow abundant natural light into what had previously been a perceptibly darker level of Penrose. Increased lower-level natural light will be a vast improvement for our library, and will brighten this previously foreboding space.
So much vocabulary about light also is about knowledge and vision and inspiration. We expect them all to intertwine in the Academic Commons. Let me be clear: we anticipate a bright future for all of DU at the Academic Commons at Penrose Library.