Penfield Focus Leaps Beyond Books

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From group-presentation carrels to furniture, from software systems to kinder, gentler loan policies: There are plenty of new things sprouting at Penfield Library.

Mary Beth Bell in pod chairTwo roomy, high-tech study cubicles have been installed at the rear of the first floor. Designed for team projects, the spaces have laptop connections and large-screen TVs.

Also nearby are soft, semi-reclining wingback chairs called puff scrolls. Upstairs are pod chairs.

The changes in ambience are efforts to keep up with study styles and technology, and these changes don't end at furniture and hardware.

The library has sent appeals to faculty to share a copy of each textbook for time-limited, in-building student use with the goal to help students who may be cash-strapped and resorting to strategies like requesting textbooks through interlibrary loan.

Penfield Library officials continue to listen to faculty, staff and student suggestions for moving forward in the electronic age with more changes-dependent on funding-possible in the future.

— Jeff Rea '71

Mary Beth Bell, recently retired director of libraries, demonstrates one comfortable innovation at Penfield Library, a pod chair. Behind her are video rockers, and there are large comfortable puff scrolls, semi-reclining wingbacks, downstairs.

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