University of Rochester

A Seat-of-the-Pants Decision is Appropriate in this Case

October 10, 1997

Count on the next generation of chairs at Rush Rhees Library to be durable and comfortable. But exactly which one of seven models under consideration will be chosen depends on the opinions of students and faculty.

Votes can be cast for your preferences from now through Thanksgiving. The chairs, placed around a table in the second-floor periodical reading room, are all made of wood and solid to the touch. More than 200 ballots have been marked so far.

"We've been most particular about our standards for a quality chair," said Ronald Dow, Dean of the River Campus Libraries. "It's the kind of furniture you expect to see in a library." Since as many as 800 chairs need to be replaced, the library's most visible and most used reading areas will take on a more stately and uniform look.

Once the votes are counted after Thanksgiving, a special solicitation of donors will begin. The plan is to purchase one style by the hundreds to replace worn-out chairs in public reading areas throughout the building. Chairs like these typically last 20 to 30 years and cost from $450 to $650 each, Dow said.

Besides covering the outright cost of each chair, a donation would also go toward establishing an endowment fund. Money from the fund would be used to repair and replace chairs, solving the problem for all time. ??