Cold Library Journal

An astute friend spotted this article a few weeks back (also from the Times) which discussed the temperature in New York City’s public libraries.  As you will read, in Manhattan, Bronx, and Staten Island, there are contracts which promise compensation to library employees for any periods of time that the temperature falls below 68º.  I am not making this up.

When the reporter went around to a few library branches to check their actual temps, he found they ranged from 73 to 79º.  I cannot imagine trying to stay awake reading a book in a room artificially heated to almost 80.  For that I would demand comp time!

Also in this article we learn that the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers “suggests buildings maintain temperatures of 67 to 82 degrees for ‘comfort purposes.’ ”  82?  For reals?  The only voices of reason quoted are the government of the UK, which describes “reasonable” workplace temperatures as “at least 16 degrees Celsius, or a hair below 61 degrees Fahrenheit”, and President Jimmy Carter who asked us all to turn our thermostats down to no higher than 65 by day, and “much lower” at night.  Where did this sensibility go?

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6 Responses to “Cold Library Journal”

  1. Laurel Massé Says:

    Yes, the libraries here in NYC are unbearably hot, and even as a library-lover and reading addict, I find it difficult to spend much time in what should be, by rights, my favorite haunts. It’s impossible to dress appropriately for a winter walk to a tropical library. Home’s not much better, though – I moved last September to a studio apartment on the ground floor of a mid-sized apartment building. I am located directly above the boiler room. There is apparently no insulation between that room’s ceiling and my floor; all my radiators are turned off, my windows are always open, and I have fans blowing the cold air in, but it is still powerfully warm. My cat, who used to curl up in a little ball on the comforter, now sprawls out on the toasty warm floor. If I was paying for heat, I guess this would be a good deal, but heat is included in the rent. I am actually paying for cooling in mid-winter. and dreading the warmer weather to come.

    • coldhousejournal Says:

      City apartment-dwelling can lead to horrible cases of involuntary heatslaughter. When I lived in Manhattan, many years ago, we had the same problem. Our miniscule studio apartment actually got so hot that we had to run the air conditioner in winter to keep from roasting. Our windows either didn’t open, or we didn’t dare to open them for safety reasons (ground floor)– can’t remember which.

  2. Laurel Massé Says:

    Have been browsing through some of your older posts, with pleasure. And memories of living up in the Adirondacks, when my dogs wererstill alive, and slept nightly at the end of the bed. Has anyone tested the BTU per hour output of a 50-lb sleeping dog? It has to be huge!

    • coldhousejournal Says:

      “Has anyone tested the BTU per hour output of a 50-lb sleeping dog? ”

      Can’t tell you with certainty, but I do know off the top of my head that an adult human puts out about 100W per hour of heat. So a 50lb dog might be 40W? The proverbial two-dog night would then be 80W… which is about the same as our electric blanket set at “5” out of 10!

      I can also attest that a ten-pound cat doesn’t do a whole lot, unless he is right on top of you.

  3. Laurel Massé Says:

    “I can also attest that a ten-pound cat doesn’t do a whole lot, unless he is right on top of you.”

    Yes. Which they so ofter are. Or mine was, until he discovered the magic heated floor, which is just as warm as I am, but thrashes about less in the night. It’s ALL about cat comfort, after all.

  4. Laurel Massé Says:

    Forgive my typos. I need to slow down.

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