And the Back of the Envelope, Please . . .

The winners of the Chronicle’s “back of the envelope” contest to design the Bush library are in. Some of the submissions were imaginative, others were satirical or angry. Some played off the resonances between the idea of a library and the Bush administration. One went beyond the confines of the envelope and attached a “signing statement.”

One of our librarians taught a January term course on The Library as Place; it was fascinating to find out what students (some of whom were not heavy library users) thought a library should look like. They tended toward the traditional, with an affinity for dark woodwork, study tables with lamps, and lots of books.

If you had a design contest for your library, what would your students submit? Your faculty? Would they reflect frustrations or dreams? It might be interesting to find out.