By Cooper Drummond
The Purchase College library recently refurnished the second floor and upper balcony.
According to the Purchase College Library website, between the two levels, “The space now offers more soft seating as well as more flexibility.” The specific changes include “brand new couches, comfy chairs, high-backed booths, ottomans, and study carrels.” There are also “two large sectional couches and plenty of smaller chairs and laptop tables.”
“I think the comfort is actually very nice,” said Michaela Cabaleiro, a first-year biochemistry major. She was seen in one of the two-person “bistro-style” booths on the second floor working on a lab on her computer. “I've been [on the upper level] one time before. I usually go downstairs and I’m usually printing out stuff. But yeah, this is the first time in this specific seat. I like the setup [of] this specific area. It's almost like a booth area, which feels comfortable.”
The website refers to the refurnishing as a “fresh, modern look” and “something students have been requesting for years.”
“The chairs were there were mostly wood,” said Katherine Kelley, a sophomore literature major who remembers sitting in the old library seats. “Those weren't super comfortable. I mean, they were nice I guess, but they weren't. I didn't like to sit on them and then the couches obviously were in disrepair, but were the nicest, most comfortable things to sit in.”
Kelley was seen reading a book on the second floor in a refurnished chair and overall likes the new seats. “It seems like there's more seating and it's comfortable.”
The library is sectioned into different levels of noise students are allowed to make: silent study zones, quiet study zones and group study zones. The quiet study zones are on the second floor and upper balcony. Students in these spaces are limited to “brief, occasional talking in a low-speaking voice.” Cell phones must be set to silent and no music is allowed without headphones. The refurnishing being done in that space appear to be helpful to students who wish to work in that type of environment.
However, the individual refurnishing in their designs also help out. The website says the “felted coverings on two bistro-style booths and five individual carrels on the upper [balcony] will help reduce noise and serve as cozy, distraction-reducing study nooks.”
“I think there's something to be said for everything being cozy because it's important to be cozy, but functional. . . This area I like because it's bigger when I have to have my computer out checking out different labs as well as writing down all my data and everything,” said Cabaleiro.
“As a private person myself, I like sitting in areas that are comfy and small,” said C.J., an undeclared first-year who wished to not give a last name. They were seen in one of the carrels on the upper balcony on their computer. C.J. plans to come here finals week. “It would definitely help me like concentrate a lot more. Because before the new furniture, I felt like it was uncomfortable.”
According to the website, “in keeping with the Library’s and College’s values of sustainability, older furniture in good condition that was removed from this area will be redistributed throughout the library.”
In addition, the website talks about accessibility issues. “Unfortunately, the upper [balcony] is only accessible by stairs; we recognize the barrier this poses for library patrons with mobility issues. An architectural redesign was not possible, so we have worked within existing building limitations to disperse a variety of flexible furniture of different heights and styles throughout the second floor.”