No, Cornell’s janitorial staff hasn’t been lax in cleaning. And your eyes aren’t deceiving you, either. That is a real lawn carpet in the middle of Olin Library. The photograph above comes courtesy of da_wei who shared the unique sight on Reddit.
Why would a school install a grass in a library? In another thread on Reddit about the lawn carpet, a student speculates:
“My guess is that it's temporary. Study week for finals is upon us, and our school has an unfortunate reputation for suicides so they do things like this for mental health.”
“Yes, it’s real grass.
Yes, you can sit, lay down and roll around on the grass, but please don’t stomp on it.
The grass is part of the exhibit. Various professors in Human Ecology have done research on the restorative benefits of nature. Instead of telling you about this, we decided to show you.
So sit, relax, lay down, and enjoy the grass!”
As should this touch to the installation. That’s no ordinary wet floor sign; it reads, “snakes.”