Firestone Library Renovation sign now

Making Firestone Library a Healthy, Productive, and Comfortable Space
Now and in the Future

For many graduate students, Firestone Library is the primary place of work. We are fortunate to have a library that is, in many ways, extremely well-equipped: open stacks in which we can browse, an enormous collection that is further enhanced by the Borrow Direct network, and remarkable special collections department. However, there are a number of changes that could be made -- both immediate and long-term -- to ensure that the library becomes as healthy, productive, and comfortable as it can be.

Immediate changes

1.Ergonomic seating

Because many of us spend hours in Firestone each day, an ergonomic chair (such as the Aeron Chair at each of the security guard stations) is a healthier choice than a wooden chair. We ask that all wooden chairs be replaced with ergonomic chairs.

2.The Trustee Reading Room

This room should be a silent study space. In order to ensure this, we recommend:

I. Remove printers and replace with more seating and desk space.
II. Add carpeting in high-traffic areas to cushion sound.
III. Remove the reference desk and station reference librarians at the (currently underutilized) information desk in the entrance atrium.

3.Library etiquette

We recommend that the rule against food in the library be enforced and that librarians help to maintain a silent environment by asking those who are being disruptive either to be quiet or to leave.

4.Improved signage

The maps currently used to help library users find books are not sufficient for the labyrinthine B- and C-floors. We ask that additional signs be posted throughout these floors to help users orient themselves. (For example, signs could indicate "P-PN -->" and "

Many popular books are currently locked away in departmental study rooms. We ask that all graduate students be given access to all of these rooms (perhaps the locks could be changed so that a single key could open all rooms).

6.Card catalogue

Remove the card catalogue and use the space for printers moved from the Trustee Reading Room.

7.Seasonal maintenance

The loud noise of lawnmowers and leafblowers can be extremely disruptive. We request that the managers of the library convene with the campus maintenance staff to find a solution to this problem. For example, these maintenance activities could be limited to early morning hours before the library opens.


High-traffic areas, including the stairwells and the bathrooms, are often dirty. We ask that these spaces be cleaned more frequently. We also recommend that signs be placed in bathrooms to ask users to take responsibility to keep them clean.

Long-term changes

1.Because the carrels are underutilized, they should be removed to make more room for open stacks, which are the library–≤s most vital resource.

2.As the library is renovated, we would like to register our preference for studying in open spaces with natural light. Spaces with windows (such as the room with the card catalogue, computers, and printers on the first floor, as well as much of the third floor) should be used for reading rooms, while darker spaces should be utilized as stacks and computer rooms.

3.The ventilation system can be noisy, especially in the C-floor atrium. The temperature is often poorly controlled as well. We ask that these systems be reviewed and improved in the renovation.

4.The rare books reading room is extremely small for a library the size of Firestone. It is sometimes difficult to get a seat. This room should be doubled in size.

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Cecil GregoryBy:
Petition target:
The President of Princeton University and the Princeton University Librarian


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