By Emily Carroll – Contributing Writer
When one imagines a college library, they think of old architecture with books lining the walls and old chairs and tables that store memories of times past. They expect a place where students can hide for hours to work on their studies until their eyes hurt from reading and their hands hurt from typing. Brennan Library is far from this ideal and instead more like a deserted, loud and disorganized eye sore. If most students have to spend the majority of their time here in the library, shouldn’t it be a quiet, sensible and beautiful environment that inspires students to do their best work?
Currently, some of the problems with the library include the open design which results in a large amount of noise. Its small interior size leads to a lack of personal space and an aesthetical lack of character that leaves students uninspired as they work. The openness of the first floor encourages a more social atmosphere which prompts people to feel like they can talk or play their music however loud they want. These aspects are fundamental parts of the design of the library that requires renovations to fix. This would attract more students to the school and leave the college with a more productive space for students and faculty.
The design of Lasell’s library is flawed as it only has two floors, with the second floor hanging over the first and making it inevitable for conversations to spread throughout the library. The library consists of only five study rooms that are constantly occupied by one or two people leaving group projects to be done in the open area and also attracting massive amounts of noise. Also, there are only about 20 individual desks on the second floor and ten on the first which is not enough for the amount of students at Lasell. These desks are also all connected, leaving students feeling on top of one another while trying to learn. The library needs to be larger and use its space wisely to accommodate the ever expanding Lasell community. This could be accomplished by better utilizing the basement or adding another floor.
Finally, the library in its current state is an eye sore both inside and out. The way a place looks can drastically change how you feel about going and spending time there. On the outside, the building looks more like a depressing prison rather than a library. The fluorescent lighting inside feels intense rather than soothing or peaceful. There is a lack of interesting art and color on the walls and mostly just ‘hotel room art’, or art that is not compelling. Also, the bookshelves are placed sporadically with no real direction that makes the space look odd and messy. Students spend so much time in the library, so why not make it beautiful? The library could benefit from an interior designer to make the space a place where students actually want to be.
Some might say that the library works well as it is and that with the addition of new couches and the Academic Achievement Center, it is in the best shape it’s ever been. The shape of the building itself is where the problem truly is. You can add as many leather couches but it still won’t fix the the fact that the library can’t fit the majority of Lasell students and how its structure amplifies noise. People may argue about the cost to fix these issues, however, I would argue that the amount of new students that a renovated library would attract to the school over time would make for the initial cost of the library and its construction.
A library is an integral part of a college and the Brennan Library disappoints. The school is growing and changing every semester with more and more students thinking about applying. Those potential students and the students here already deserve better. We deserve a library that inspires us.