The wooden double doors swing open with a creak as a new student enters the space formerly known as the AHS library. Approaching the new tables and chairs, the student sits comfortably in a modern and innovative seat. Poised and ready to begin working, the chair swivels left and right, enabling full access to the workspace. Off to the left are four black couches arranged in a circle, creating a coffeehouse feel for quiet collaboration.
The AHS library has been updated with 21st century furniture, creating a nude palette accented with blue chairs and stools. The calming color scheme and cozy work areas create a deeper silence in the library, only broken by the whispers of students seated on the couches.
These changes to the furniture, which started over the summer, have Andover High School faculty and students happy.
Mr. Berube, the librarian, said the library was changed so it would look more like a library of the future and be more comfortable for students. Berube stated that they no longer call it the library but they call it the “digital learning commons.”
The library is currently not finished and they just started the renovation process in August before school started. The changes are very last minute. “I think the library is going to look great once we get the old furniture out, at least I’ll get a better sense of what it will look like,” Ms. Stevens, a teacher, said.
Berube states that the new library was funded by town money as opposed to donation.
For the most part the new library has gotten good attention. “I do like the new library,” said Sara Wulff, a senior. “I feel like they made it more like a college lounge where they put the couches in here. The tables are really accessible. You can move them wherever you want to.”
However some people do not like the new arrangements. Jenny Jung, a senior, said, “I mean its certainly more comfortable but I kind of don’t like it because they are getting rid of all of the books.” She explains how she saw that the school had trashcans full of books. She suggests that AHS rescues the books and donates them to places in need. “No one really uses the library for its books”, Jung said.
Another problem includes the new chairs and couches that they added. According to Berube, students tend to fall asleep on those chairs.
A couple students offered contrasting views explaining how the library is used now verses how it used to be used. Jenny said, “Now a days all people do in the library is socialize and go here for study”. Sara states that when people did come to the library, they weren’t productive, but with the new setup more people come to do homework because of the different atmosphere. “It changes the vibe of how people want to use the space”, she explained. “More people come to the library now to do homework instead of just hanging out and eating lunch.”
By Emily Tamarkin, with additional reporting by Taylor Burns