On a recent tour of the Gottesman Libraries, research and instruction librarian Becca Gates cheerfully met us at the first-floor reception desk. As she spoke about the library’s incredible history and collections, one was delighted by the handsome cherry wood study stations (and standing treadmill desks) with natural light pouring in through the tall windows overlooking the Russel courtyard. 

Just outside the library’s main doors is the Kassar Exhibition Space, situated under stunning neo-gothic arches with a deep blue mosaic ceiling. Here, musicians from TC’s talented music community are often found performing in regularly scheduled offerings. Just to the left is the Everett Library Café. In addition to light bites and refreshments, the cafe stocks numerous periodicals and magazines to flip through and a digital display showing the front pages of newspapers from around the world. 

The second floor of the library is dedicated to collaboration. Modular furniture allows for customized desk configurations to assist with group discussions. And don’t worry, the librarian will not shush you here—talking is permitted. You’ll also find arrays of staff picks on various topics on this floor. During our visit, on display were recently challenged children’s books and a selection of titles on meditation, mindfulness, gratitude, and self-talk to help alleviate the stress of finals week.

Quiet can again be found on the third floor, with ample seating, comfortable lounge chairs, and brass lamps. This floor also includes the M. W. Offit Gallery, which at the time was hosting the exhibit Art for a Purpose. You’ll also see works throughout the library from the College’s impressive Historical Art Collections.

Next, we visited the Stacks. This maze of floors winding through eight stories houses much of the library’s more than 500,000 books. There are charming seats and tables amid the tall narrow windows overlooking 120th Street. 

“The physical space of Gottesman Libraries really represents the spirit of scholarship at Teachers College to me,” Becca says. “Filled with collaboration, innovation, and community support.”

If you haven’t already, be sure to join the next tour of the library. Meanwhile, peruse the Library Blog with frequent updates from the library staff offering information on education programs, archive selections, news, and staff picks. 

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