Our recent student survey has further illustrated what library staff have known for many weeks: it’s cold in here. Colder than usual, it seems. I’ve tried working with gloves on, my colleague in the next cubicle routinely works with her coat on, and several library staff have been known to keep lap blankets at work.
As we joke about thermal underwear, rechargeable hand warmers and the relative warmth of fleece vs. wool we all ask: can’t they just turn up the heat?
Unfortunately, turning up the heat isn’t as easy as you’d think.
The library was built in 1966 before almost all students and many library staff were born. Keeping 47-year old heating systems going is a challenge. 47 years of renovation have created rooms that are warmer than others, rooms cold enough to use as refrigerators, and the changing layout of our spaces has changed the airflow around the library.
So the folks that keep the heat running in the winter and the air conditioning going in the summer have gone back to basics, looking up the original blue prints of the building in an effort to figure out how to get more warm air to the parts of the library that need it.
We aren’t sure yet if we’ll be able to make any changes – replacing the entire system isn’t an option – but we’ll keep you up to date. Hopefully the library won’t have to purchase staff uniforms: