Friday, February 11, 2011

Quiet Space in the Library

As the library becomes even more popular for group study and as a place you can be sure to find your friends, we have to make sure we maintain space for quiet, contemplative study and relaxation. Some of our users made this clear to us when responding to the LibQual survey. The 3rd and 4th floors are designated as quiet study and we wanted to do something to make them even more attractive, so we took the window nooks on the 4th floor which had been furnished with built in window seats when the library opened in 1985 (puce formica and hessian -- very 70's) and replaced them with leather chairs (or love seats in the larger ones) and reading lamps.

 They are already proving popular as you can see from this photo of Wes enjoying wireless access and quiet contemplation.
There are three 'nooks' with love seats and four with chairs. Over the next couple of weeks we will be adding ottomans to the chairs and students in Josh Almond's 3 Dimensional Foundations class are creating unique end tables that will be added before the end of the semester.
So, thinking in terms of Oldenburg's Third Place, and Bennett's idea of libraries enacting the mission of the college, we have created varied, attractive, flexible, functional, spaces that students can use in ways that make sense to them, and that include elements growing directly from the curriculum (the end tables.) The 21st century college library in action!
Thanks to Lori Voorhees, Darcella Deschambault, and  Susan Montgomery for making this happen.

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