New furniture compensates for postponement of library remodel

Ido Gal, Author

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Paly students Olivia Musil, Pasha Kamarei, Lydia Barry and Hans Usman use the café-style high tables in the library. Photo by George Lu.

Paly students Olivia Musil, Pasha Kamarei, Lydia Barry and Hans Usman use the café-style high tables in the library. Photo by George Lu.

After delaying the remodeling of the Palo Alto High School Library, the Paly administration is encouraging students to use the new furniture put in place as compensation.

The new furniture includes brand new chairs and tables, which replace the old furniture that had been around for 43 years.

“I really wanted to push for new furniture for the library,” Paly librarian Rachel Kellerman said. “I thought that we would be able to have this facility remodeled starting now, so we were going to wait for new furniture until the remodeling. But when the job was put off for the next two to three years, I asked Principal Kim Diorio if we could find a donor, and she did.”

Paly administration members, including Diorio, became aware of issues with the old furniture after using it themselves last year.

“There were a number of teachers who became students for a day,” Kellerman said. “Diorio said she sat for an hour in our comfortable chairs pretending to be a student and she realized it was just a really tough place to be. The furniture didn’t work, so she understood the need before any other administrator.”

Students have mostly enjoyed the new look and feel of the library.

“I really like some of the new seats,” senior Ken Shin said. “They’re very comfortable, and they’re much nicer than what we had last year.”

Paly chose the furniture through a selection process in order to create an ideal library environment for students, according to Kellerman.

“We talked to Shelly Young from Workplace Connections who [designed] the Media Arts Center furniture,” Kellerman said. “I also talked to another company that specializes in library furniture called Demco. We got samples in from both vendors, and kids sat in the chairs and did polls. … We ended up going with Shelly Young’s design because we were able to get [more of a] variety of colors, and the tables were more flexible.”

The library features some new types of furnitures, including café high tables, designed to encourage collaboration, as well as single desks with dividers.

“I like the dividers,” junior Ophir Sneh said. “The library can be pretty distracting sometimes, so they help keep me focused.”

Another benefit of the new furniture  is its compatibility.

“All the furniture in the Media Arts Center is the same, so it’s all interchangeable.” Kellerman said.