This is a picture of the main reading room at my boarding school, Taft. Iâ€™m not sure when it was built, but Iâ€™m guessing it dates to the late â€˜90s. Instead of feeling overwhelming or stuffy, as large library rooms can, this is one of the warmest, most welcoming spaces I know, boasting clean lines, bright pine detailing, and tall windows that let in lots of light. Thanks to its high ceiling and classic light fixtures, the room is recognizably a library reading room- the light fixtures in particular might have been stolen from the grand, gothic reading room in Sterling- but the architect has pared down the fireplace, windows and even the furniture, favoring simplicity over gothic excess. You canâ€™t tell from this picture, but the windows are engraved with quotes from Taftâ€™s founder, William Howard Taft, all championing character, good sportsmanship and school spirit. The architecture makes the â€˜cathedral of learningâ€™ idea of a library seem warm and inviting, the words engraved on the windows emphasize values that are not academic, and the student can look up from his or her books to see the sun setting over the sports center, or to see kids playing frisbee on the quadâ€¦perhaps I like this library so much because, although it is a place for study, at every turn it sends us calming reminders that studying needn’t be scary, and doesn’t mean everything.