Skip to main content

The Peter B. Lewis Library - Princeton University

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Princeton University opened a new Science Library - Peter B. Lewis Library, which combines collections of the Astrophysics, Biology, Chemistry, Geosciences and Math and Physics. The new library opened in the fall of 2008.

As Patricia Gaspari-Bridges the Head of Science and Technology Libraries states the library was designed as a collaborative study space supporting interdisciplinary work in the sciences. The main reason behind the project was the need for additional physical space for faculty as well as for labs and classrooms in each of the science academic departments. The money for the project was donated by Peter B. Lewis who had previously worked with the architect Frank Gehry who was hired for this project. Princeton did not do a "needs assessment" for the project, but decided to work closely with the architect's team, as well as with the with focus groups of undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, and with the librarians and staff involved.

The result is a library with a bold design that brings together science libraries from across campus in a research and study space. As stated on the library web page a memorable highlight of the tour is the Treehouse, a spacious reading room with study tables, soft seating, and comfortable lighting on the second floor. On the second floor an E-Classroom is located as well where librarians offer instruction sessions and workshops on the specialized software installed on its 20 computers. Through the library number of PCs and Macintoshes are available for public use.

Gallery of pictures


  1. I like that this science library is mixed use with study space, classroom space, and lab space. It means that library has the opportunity to be more in tune to its users and can provide a variety of services to its users.

  2. I like "user-centered spaces."
    By Charlie Dean

  3. Librarians offering instruction sections and workshops to students over the software are terrific. I think that it would be great if the librarians taught a course on how to use the library's resources. This class would be mandatory for incoming freshman. The librarians could set up a test to exempt this course for those who do not need it. This course could be funded with a small fee to student fees. I know college is already costly. I have two sons in college and myself in grad school, but I feel this would better prepare students in their studies.

  4. To: Violeta
    From: Charlie Dean

    The idea of "information commons" is new to me. Each library seems to have its own unique "role" that it plays to link up the individual to information. The common innovative hurdle that all libraries are having to jump these says is getting new furniture to accommodate computers. In spite of computers being scattered around the libraries, too many of them were constructed before laptops existed. Computer friendly study spaces, research spaces, and social spaces cannot come too soon.



Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Real time information channel

Following the idea discussed in the previous blog post of what is needed to develop a system for authors’ data exchange we would like to expand on the topic after receiving feedback. In that blog post the system used for comparison is the one used in the airline industry (GDS). The comparison is not meant to imply that the system needs to be built on similar standards as in the airline industry. It is referenced simply due to one specific feature -- exchange and verification of data in real time. The current need to solve the identity management/authority control problem leads us to name the system “GDS system for authors information exchange”, but similar problems are known in other areas. This system can easily be extended to solve those problems. Some of the known problems include resolving the issues around corporate bodies/organizations names as well as subject headings from different controlled vocabularies.

We discussed just the authors for the time being but we perceive that th…

Why not share?

One day, just recently I sent a tweet  and followed up with few more addressing the problem of sharing data about creators of scholarly works. As a cataloger in heart but also as a person that has worked on system integrations, including library catalogs, institutional repositories, metadata aggregators, personal and organizational identifiers systems, publishers, and vendors, I am more and more convinced that the solution to the present challenge is a common system where all of these stakeholders/agents will be able to share and exchange data about authors. System like the one used by airlines - GDS. Not specifically that one, but similar to that as it provides exchange of information. Each of the stakeholders systems should be able to interface with the GDS system, just like each airline computer system interfaces with the GDS system. There can be many levels or modulesfor different tasks in this GDS system. I think this is the best example for comparison and provides a clue into wh…