Friday, October 08, 2004

Sometimes It Is About the Size of the Seats

I was reading a story in today's New York Times that had absolutely nothing to do with libraries. It explored, at great length, the shrunken and shrinking size of seats in Broadway theatres. Yet, the more I think about it, the article has everything to do with today's libraries. Ostensibly, the play's the thing; theatergoers are there for the content. But their experience is hampered by the inadequate physical infrastructure of aging theatres. Library patrons come to the library for its content. Is their experience lessened by their surroundings? Lack of space tailored to their particular needs (quiet study and reflection, group work, lively story hours) as well as lighting, signage, decor and creature comforts all can make patrons vote with their feet, in the wrong direction.

Sometimes it IS about the size of the seats.

Jesse McKinley and Joel Topcik, "You Can Buy a Seat, but Can You Fit in It?", The New York Times, Oct. 8, 2004, p. B1.