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In 1982, the Cushwa-Leighton Library received the 11th Biennial Library Building Award jointly sponsored by the American Library Association and the American Institute of Architects. The award recognizes buildings that display architectural creativity while adequately meeting functional library requirements. The joint award "encourages excellence in the architectural design and planning" of libraries.
In this undergraduate library, books are shelved in a central area, clearly visible to the patron entering through the atrium. Work areas, although visible and accessible to patrons, are separated from study areas and reading rooms. Natural lighting is used extensively in reading spaces. The library has an excellent distribution of individual and group seating that avoids uncomfortable large massing of seats. The cast-in-place concrete roof received an award and recognition from the Indiana Chapter of the American Concrete Association (1983).
The library consultant was David Kaser (Indiana University). The lighting consultant was William Lam Associates (Cambridge, MA).
Creek, Sister Mary Immaculate. A Panorama: 1844-1977, Saint Mary's College, Notre Dame, Indiana. Notre Dame, IN: The College, 1977.
McCandless, Marion. Family Portraits, History of the Holy Cross Alumnae Association of Saint Mary's College, Notre Dame, Indiana, 1879-1949. Notre Dame, IN: Saint Mary's College, 1952.
Wagner, Monica. Benchmarks: Saint Mary's College, How it Grew. Notre Dame, IN: Saint Mary's College, 1990.