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Sustainable Chairs for Sustainable Libraries

In 2017 the Joan Weill Adirondack Library, which serves Paul Smith’s College in upstate New York, received sixty Charleston chairs to replace their previous seating. One of the finest college libraries in the Northeast, it serves as a regional information center with 55,000 books and serials in their collection. The Library lives up to its surroundings with an earth-sheltered, passive-solar design of the library building; Paul Smith’s College is well-known for its stunning campus beauty nestled in the Adirondack Mountains, and its commitment to the environment is extended to their earth-friendly architecture. In fact, much of the wood used was harvested from the College’s local green-certified lands, including cherry and sugar maple species. In 2002, the year it opened its doors, the library building even won the Outstanding Use of Wood award from the Northeastern Loggers Association. We found a kinship with the Library’s focus on sustainability measures, and paid extra attention to the craftsmanship of their newest chairs.
 
These Charleston chairs were built to replace some of their previous library chairs, which had been purchased new in 2002 but could not stand up to the daily rigors of library demands. By the time they came to us, the warranty had long expired on their other chairs and left them with roughly half of their original order breaking from the strain. It was clear they needed chairs that would both last a lifetime and fulfill their environmental objectives, which we were eager to meet. Over a year later, the Library’s Charlestons are going strong where other chairs would have begun degrading. Our warranty covers twenty years for even the busiest libraries in the country, although their service life will last much longer. Plus, the Library and College can find even more happiness with our chairs being sustainably built from the lumber sourcing all the way to factory recycling measures – truly a match for the only four-year college in the Adirondack Park!

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