Steelcase recently published a case study on campus libraries at the University of Arizona. The focus of the article is the application of innovative new products such as the Brody WorkLounge to meet the current needs of students.

The University conducted a study to understand why campus libraries were as busy as ever, while book circulation had fallen. Using a variety of measures, the University saw a clear trend in how students increasingly used libraries for private study and collaborative work.

The University’s report mirrored the larger trend in the changing nature of libraries. The following quote is from the 2015 State of America’s Libraries Report:

Academic, public and school libraries are experiencing a shift in how they are perceived by their communities and society. No longer just places for books, libraries of all types are viewed as anchors, centers for academic life and research and cherished spaces. (

The challenge for the University was how to best meet the current needs of the students when the facilities were designed for antiquated practices.

These places are best suited for short-term visits, not long-term study. As a result, students vie for too-few individual study spaces and even fewer power outlets for their digital devices. (

The University engaged Atmosphere to try out the Brody WorkLounge by Steelcase. Shelley Schwartz, longtime senior account manager for the University, worked with Steelcase on a pilot space with three Brody WorkLounges. “In a 24 hour period, all three Brody chairs that were piloted were occupied for 23 of those hours,” said Shelley. They were so well-received, the Libraries started ordering more upon first order entry. “We are slowly incorporating them in many spaces around each of the libraries on campus.”

Read more about the impact of Brody WorkLounge at the University of Arizona:

  1. The wide variety of successes at U of A by Shelley and team are shining examples of Atmosphere at its best – listening, bringing insights, challenging and producing beautiful – functional – sustainable solutions. Bear Down!!


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