Students at the Mary Kintz Bevevino library are seeking out a large, overstuffed seating option, called the Lovesac.
Lovesac is the trademarked name of a company that produces the oversized beanbag chairs stuffed with foam, which are now available in the library – as long as they aren’t already occupied, that is.
Jennifer Luksa, Director of Library services, said the library purchased the overstuffed chairs because of their versatility and the support from students.
“There was money in our account that was set aside for purchasing furniture for the library, and we had student suggestions from previous semesters for some bean bag chairs. We also looked at Marywood University’s new library, with its modern furniture, and Kutztown University’s library for inspiration. Then we investigated some of the products that were out there for furniture, specifically beanbag chairs, when we came across the Lovesac,” said Luksa.
There are currently two Lovesac beanbag chairs on the second floor of the library that students can use and drag to their favorite spots. Students who have taken advantage of the new seating like it.
Emily Dacko a sophomore speech language pathology major spotted the beanbag on the second floor near the children’s books.
“Both of the beanbags were there, and I was all alone, so it was pretty cool just flopping down into them. It was amazing and quiet and nice,” said Dacko.
Another sophomore speech language pathology major, Emily Rothschild, enjoys having more comfortable seating.
“I find them really relaxing when trying to get work done. I think they were a good addition to the library,” said Rothschild.
Students were not the only ones having fun with the new squishy seats; library staff have also been taking notice of them.
“We usually keep the Lovesacs wherever the students put them unless they’re in an awkward spot such as the McGowan room on the third floor. The only other time we’ll move them is on breaks when the staff wants to use them,” said Luksa.
Colleen Newhart, Access Services Manager, recalls when the Lovesacs first arrived.
“When the Lovesacs got here, they were so heavy that the staff couldn’t carry them down to second floor, so they rolled them down the stairs. Now I see them moving all over the place. Everyone seems to like them and they’re very comfortable. Sometimes I see people push them into a little corner and take a nap on them,” said Newhart.
Peggy Leonhart, Reference Specialist, said she’s seen more than one person sit in them at a time.
“I’ve also seen people eat, sleep, and read in them. I think people have a lot of fun with them, but that’s all so far that I’ve seen since I don’t like to randomly stare at people using them since that would be creepy,” she said.
Junior biology major Rebecca Zaneski said the chairs may be too relaxing.
“It’s hard not to use them, since I know as soon as I sit in them, I won’t want to get out of them. I love the bean bags, but I can’t do important work in them. They’re better for relaxing and low key studying,” said Zaneski.
Samantha Miller, sophomore speech language pathology major, has also realized the beanbags may not be perfect for serious studying.
“I love the Lovesacs! I actually fell asleep in one of them once, so I guess they may not be perfect for you if you want to get work done, but I like reading in them,” said Miller.
Jessica Anderson, third year physical therapy graduate student, said that the hardest part for her is not taking a nap in them.
Meghan Digerolamo, fifth year occupational therapy student, has even avoided sitting in the new Lovesacs due to her work.
“I think they’re super cool, and they look super comfy. I wish I could have one in my house. I haven’t tried them out yet since I usually have to be on my laptop or sitting at a desk,” said Digerolamo.
Fortunately for students who need to get work done, Luksa and her staff are looking at new options to replace the old wooden carrels.
“At some point, we would like to replace the wooden carrels which are more than 40 years old and that came from the old library. So we trialed a ‘new wave’ carrel from Steelcase called The Brody, and the feedback on it was really positive, but the only thing is we would be replacing a lot of seating which means you need adequate funds for such a project. The other thing students requested last semester was more tables on the second floor,” said Luksa.
Although the Lovesacs may not be the ideal place to sit when studying for a big test, many students still enjoy having plunking down them.
“I love them. I looked up how much they were and they’re way too expensive for me to purchase, so I’m happy they have them here. Recently I brought one to the study room, and I actually got a lot of work done while also being comfortable. It helps when you’re also with a group of people to stay awake, which I was,” said Breann Hunsinger, sophomore physical therapy major.
Kristin Kuntzman, sophomore occupational therapy major, said she and her friends search the library for the Lovesacs.
“Sometimes on Saturday mornings we’ll come in here to watch Netflix and sit on them together,” she said.
Some students cannot get their hands on them because they are occupied. Such was the case for Kay Albitz, graduate occupational therapy student.
“The Lovesacs look really comfy, but I haven’t sat in one yet since there’s always people in them,” said Albitz.
Luksa has no plans to buy additional Lovesacs, at least not until she hears more positive student feedback about them.
“Every morning we look to see where they migrated since students are always moving them. Seeing where they’ve moved gives us an idea as to where students may want comfy seating. It is important to have student feedback and we’ll be sending out a survey at the end of this semester and all I ask is for students to fill out the surveys because that is the only way we’ll know what they really want,” said Luksa.