OP Library is hitting the books on bird-glass collisions

Opinion

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Once again, as bird migration time approaches, Paul Oppenheim wonders why the Oak Park Public Library does not seem to be doing anything abut reducing bird glass collisions with its now not-so-new building near Scoville Park ("OP Library still needs to hit the books on ending bird deaths," March 2).

On June 9, 2004, Wednesday Journal published an account, "IIT is working to find solutions to bird glass collisions" in reaction to Paul Oppenheim's Viewpoints piece of a week earlier.

We had already organized a sequence of two Inter-professional Projects (IPROs) in fall 2003 and spring 2004, based on our own experience with bird deaths due to bird glass wall collisions.

That focused on the east glass wall of our then recently opened State Street Village, a six pod undergraduate dorm designed by Helmut Jahn.

That IPRO completed its study and made its recommendations. We had the interest and cooperation of IIT's College of Architecture and many others?#34;including a visit from and lecture by the preeminent expert on the subject, Dr. Daniel Klem of Muhlenberg College, Allentown, Pennsylvania.

One consequence of that work is the organization of a one day conference being held on the IIT campus on Saturday, March 11, where bird experts and architects will listen to papers read by experts on the subject.

An interesting recent development is based on the fact that the light sensitivity of many birds extends slightly into the ultra violet end of the visible (to humans) spectrum.

There has been a product developed, a plastic sheet, that is clear to the human eye but looks opaque to birds. Better living through chemistry!

Peter Lykos
Oak Park

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