Natural Light and Comfy Chairs

Though it is raining outside and the library lights are turned off, the room is still full of light. The library’s windows, clear and wide, gather in even the slightest sparkle of natural light as it slips by raindrops and filters through grey clouds. As I unlock my office door, I notice that students are already studying in the space. The pressure of upcoming midterms got them out of bed at the unsightly hour of 10 a.m. For some, I wouldn’t be surprised if they had slept at all.

They sit in the library’s soft, red chairs. Some sit upright, with their legs curled underneath them, others slouch down, with their legs stretched out in front of them, but all their heads pitch forward, aggressively angled over a laptop or a phone.

Outside, fog shades the windows and dampens the day. But inside, our student’s forgo the aid of our library’s lights. The combination of window and electronic screen is enough.

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Students often tell me that they love to study in the Vincent Library. That the space, with its sprawling windows and big chairs, help to make a demanding workload manageable, pleasant, and light. I’m always happy to hear this. Such feedback reminds me that the Christian hospitality Saint Thomas More extends to the Yale community is not only present in the chapel or dining hall, but is also present in this little library.

For what better way to care for a studying student on a dark, rainy day than with natural light and a comfy chair?