New in the Library

Library Assistant Jennifer Horst beneath the library’s newly treated skylights

Our Library and Information Center contain books and literature that enhance the culture and life at Fourth. Located just off Halverson Hall, both spaces are flooded with bright sunlight which is warm and inviting for visitors, but unfortunately, not so good for the stacks of books beneath the skylights. Over time, we’ve seen how sunlight causes ultraviolet light damage to the materials: The UV light has been fading the warm colors — the reds, oranges, yellows — causing all the books to start to look blue-ish. It became a matter of protecting the investment the church has made in providing sound resources for the edification of the Fourth community.

This image shows that the damaging effect of the sun is swift: The book on the right is in its original condition; the one on the left has been on display for just three months.

Last year, the Library team devised a temporary fix by adding black accordion shades to the shelves. These covered the volumes during the week and were removed every Sunday morning — an effective solution, but not very inviting for browsing at other times. We arrived at a better mode of book preservation just recently: This March, each skylight received a new application of UV-protective film, preserving the ambience in the spaces and eliminating the need to physically cover the books.

UV rays have rendered the DVD label on the right barely legible.

We are excited that the church’s resources are now properly shielded from the damaging effects of sunlight. Fourth’s Library has always been a pleasant place to study, browse, or relax with a good read, and now it’s also a safer environment for the books. Come and enjoy the resources we have to offer in our Library and Information Center!

Hours of Operation: Sunday-Thursday, 9:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Other times by appointment; call 301-320-3600

The skylights in the Library and Information Center receiving their new treatment in March