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CONTACT: Kathleen Thames
(337) 482-6397 kat@louisiana.edu
Sept. 24, 2012
Check Out Architecture Students' Little Libraries
Little libraries can make a big difference — encouraging a love of reading and building community. UL Lafayette architecture students were challenged to design and build tiny libraries: big enough to hold a dozen or so books. About 40 of these little libraries will be placed in Lafayette neighborhoods, said Geoff Gjertson, a professor of architecture.

Left: Benjamin Magallon, 1st Place

Right: Tyler Melancon, 2nd Place


Gjertson learned about the Little Free Library movement when he listened to an NPR broadcast on KRVS 88.7 FM, UL Lafayette's public radio station. Todd Bol, of Hudson, Wis., built the first little library in 2010 and pla ced i t on his front lawn. He built it to honor his late mother, a teacher and book lover.

 “Neighbors started coming by to borrow books or just to chat. I got to meet people who had alwa ys lived nearby but I’d never met,” said Bol during a re cent interview. He and his business partner, Rick Brooks, formed a nonprofit organization t o promote Little Free Libraries.

As a result, that scenario has unfolded in thousands of communities across the United States and overseas. “Whether it’s in India or America, the story is the same,” he added.

Bol was at UL Lafayette Sept. 11 to help judge the students’ work.
 “I’m very impressed. The students showed a great deal of diversity in their work and they’ve addressed some design problems we’ve had along the way.”

Bol was particularly pleased with Tyler Melancon’s work, which won second place in the competition. Melancon’s library, made of acrylic, has a cylindrical shape, a hinged door and a roof that resembles the bill of a baseball cap. Bol has asked him to create additional designs.

The eight winning designs will be displayed Wednesday, Sept. 26, through Friday, Sept. 28 at Hilton Lafayette, 1521 W. Pinhook Road, during the Louisiana Architects Association’s Design Conference. About 16 of the little libraries will be shown at Parc Sans Souci during ArtWalk in downtown Lafayette on Saturday, Oct. 13.

About 90 students participated in the contest, which was sponsored by the Louisiana Chapter of the American Institute of Architects.

UL Lafayette architecture and design faculty, along with representatives from Lafayette Consolidated Government and the Lafayette Parish Library system, judged their work.

There were four primary criteria: design, craftsmanship, how welcoming the design was, and durability. Each student based his or her design on a book.
The following winners were selected; the books that inspired them are also cited.

First place: Benjamin Magallon, “Ways of Seeing” by John Berger

Second place: Tyler Melancon, “The Odyssey” by Homer

Third place: Caleb Boulet, “Adventure of Ideas” by Alfred North Whitehead and Daniel Ferg, “The Lorax” by Dr. Seuss

Four students earned honorable mentions: Trent Husser, “Animal Farm” by George Orwell; Cullen Leboeuf, “Siddhartha” by Herman Hesse; Nicholas Lott, “Movable Feast” by Ernest Hemingway; and Thomas Mouton, “Brave New World” by Aldous Huxley.

Document last revised Wednesday, September 26, 2012 9:46 AM

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