Q: The chairs in the library are old and so bent as to be ergonomically deficient. Most pose lower-back injury risk. Could you not find the budget to replace these clunkers? By my estimate, at 300 chairs per floor, you would need approximately 2100 new ones. In this economy, I’m sure you could find a decent wholesale price. A fringe benefit is that it would go a long ways aesthetically towards bringing the library into the 21st century.
A: Thank you for your feedback. We too would love to be able to replace the aging chair population in the Bennett Library. While the current economic environment might suggest that we could get a good wholesale price, it also means that in a publicly funded institution, we don’t have the budget to do the replacement. It’s been our experience that if we cheap out on the furniture it quickly deteriorates and needs to be replaced. The chairs take a beating over the year and need to be of a certain quality to be useful. Even at $50 per chair ($80 is the more likely price), replacing the chairs in the building would cost over $100,000! However having said that we do try to replace some per year.
To help avoid back problems, have a look at Health and Counselling Services’ web page at http://students.sfu.ca/health/healthpromotion/illnessprevention.html . They suggest you try the following:
Stretch every 20 to 30 minutes, moving your joints through their normal range of motion–try one of HCS’ online stretching videos!
Move – take short breaks to promote blood flow every 20 to 30 minutes. This will also help increase your energy, alertness and concentration.
Todd M. Mundle
Associate University Librarian