Do you remember your high school library? It was probably a rather uninteresting place. I can still remember seeing the dullness of the beige and blue carpet. When I first arrived at Union I was expecting the same borderline miserable décor in Schaffer Library, but instead found myself pleasantly surprised.
The bright turquoise green and pink columns were a lovely shock. The scattered prints on the walls and the miscellaneous bird drawings added to its flare. So when classes began I found that I was not dragging my feet to the library. In fact, I was weirdly excited to use it.
As I dove into my homework I could not help but look at the columns. Every time I looked up from my black and white paper, a glimmer of pink would catch my eye, or some oddly humorous bird drawing.
Maybe it was just me, but having the bright columns and artwork made my studying experience that much nicer. I remember first visiting Union and the campus had this charm, a historic and classical vibe. The Nott Memorial rests in the middle of campus, one of the 16 sides always looking at you, making you always feel the old world allure.
Yet, as you walk into the library you have an automatic clash. You would probably expect the wooden chairs and long tables with archived books in the densely packed cases; yet, we have beanbag chairs and Twinkie posters. If you go to the upper floors, or to the basement, you return to that classic library vibe. Nonetheless, the amount of light and air that circulates in the upper floors still makes students feel some sense of warmth and life.
We have all had those days in the library, so deeply immersed in our studies that one might start to drift into this odd murky mood pit. The huge windows in the library make sure to capitalize on that when the perfect ray of sunlight hits you, and the colors become that much more vibrant.
The environment that we learn in is invaluable to our experience as students. Art gives students a relief from their stressful classes. I think sometimes we do not realize how much color and décor actually can improve our moods and make us more productive and active in our minds and work. As we head into midterms we should all give a round of applause to those who made our library that much more pleasant and that much more productive. For that, we have Kira Nam Greene to thank.
Greene’s work is the fourth artistic work to be featured in Schaffer’s Art Installation Series. The exhibit, titled “By the Patterns,” was installed on March 28, 2016. Her work will remain in Schaffer through March 2017.