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Just a decade or so ago, when you thought of library seating you probably thought of hard wood chairs set up at long tables, with private carrels and the occasional stuffed chair.

Of course, that was when libraries served the main purpose of collecting and storing printed materials. In the past, libraries were a quiet refuge for people interested in accessing those printed materials, whether for research or for enjoyment.

Today, libraries are bustling hubs that not only store and collect printed material, but manage a wide variety of other types of media, including digital media. As libraries have evolved they have moved beyond focusing on simple reading areas, and have added meeting rooms, digital media areas, coffee shops, outdoor areas, information centers, and teaching spaces. These spaces require functional and comfortable seating.

Types of Seating

Benches and risers work in both indoor and outdoor spaces, and are ideal for both private and communal areas. Since benches and risers are moveable, they work nicely in spaces that require flexibility. Some risers and benches have storage space underneath, making them a good choice for children's spaces.

Library reading chairs complement tables and carrels, and can be wooden or upholstered. Depending upon space, a library may choose to have reading chairs with or without arms. Most libraries have a combination of the two.

In meeting rooms, communal areas, and lounge areas, comfort is key. These rooms often feature stuffed lounge chairs, loveseats, and sofas.

Many of today's libraries also feature cafes, which requires special seating. Chairs and stools come in a wide variety of materials and designs depending upon the library's aesthetic, from simple wooden chairs to colorful retro stools.

Finally, as outdoor areas have become more popular at modern libraries, outdoor seating has become a necessity. Metal and wooden benches and chairs designed for the outdoors provide comfortable outdoor seating but also stand up to the weather.

library seating styles
This photo depicts two types of library seating products: two comfortable reading chairs and a square table are shown in the foreground while several stackable chairs and computer workstation tables are visible in the background.
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Library Seating - Library Chairs