A Beam of Sun to Shake the Sky consists of two vertically oriented sculptures set upon massive granite pedestals in front of the library's glass facade. The sculptures appear made of bright red ribbon-like strips of painted aluminum that snake skyward. The individual strips each contain cut-out letters in a variety of fonts, languages, and cases. The twin forms are more dense at the bottom, and become lighter toward the top. The highest element on each side is a short, curved strip painted in gold leaf. With their wide bases that taper upward, the forms resemble red candles topped by gold flame. The sculptures are lit from below at night.