With fall semester in full swing, students at the University of Wisconsin at Madison spent an awful lot of time at College Library, one dozens of libraries and study areas on the sprawling, 933-acre campus.
While the library features special collections, multimedia resources, more than 200 computer workstations, a coffee shop and cafe, it’s really the view that impressed me.
This is the view from the third floor of the library. That’s Lake Mendota, the northernmost and largest of the four lakes near Madison. (The university of situation along the southern shore of the lake.)
The lake is lined with expensive luxury homes and condos, protected natural areas and parks, university housing and a bunch of hotels and restaurants. During the summer the lake is littered with boaters, water-skiiers, wakeboarders, kayakers and stand-up paddleboarders. During winter — which is fast approaching — the lake freezes over. But that doesn’t stop folks from coming out; it’s a popular spot for ice boating, ice skating, ice fishing, ice hockey and cross-country skiing.
And yes, the library is also home to the popular Open Book Cafe, which serves gourmet coffee, specialty drinks, soups, grab-and-go sandwiches and wraps, salads, snacks and baked goods. This burger and salad only cost $5.80.