New Spaces and New Places to Study in the Library

The Library redesigns and improves study spaces for students.

The glass partitions on the second floor of the Library

During the summer and winter intersessions, the Library staff embarked on significant modifications to three of the study spaces within the Library.

On the first floor, three stacks of reference shelving were removed during August as reference books were converted to electronic format or transferred to the second floor as part of the circulating collection.  The resulting open spaces were furnished with tables and soft-seating.  These areas immediately became very popular with students.  The spaces are fairly quiet yet within an easy distance to the Library’s reference desk, the quick-print workstations and both computer labs.

On the second floor, a glass partition was installed near the front lobby during the winter break.  This partition was designed to address students’ complaints about noise in the Library.  Student responses to surveys conducted by the Library mentioned noise as one of the most frequent criticisms.  For this reason, several years ago, the second floor of the Library was designated as a quiet study area (except for the group study rooms).  However, the volume of conversations and activities in the front lobby and stairway of the Library often emanated to the second floor. The glass partitions enclose the quiet area of the second floor and prevent sound from the first floor lobby from disturbing the students studying there.  While the two-story entrance area is an attractive architectural feature, it did permit sound from the lobby to rise to the second floor.  The glass wall and doors effectively seal the quiet area from the lobby. 

Changes were also made to the Graduate Research Center on the second floor of the Library. This Center was designed to provide graduate students with reserved study space, and it consisted of two large rooms furnished with study carrels.  In order to make this quiet area available to more students, the Graduate Research Center was relocated to one of the rooms, room 211, and is separated by a glass door.  The adjacent area, room 210, has now been designated as open study space for all library users. Both rooms are furnished with special study carrels and chairs.

Entry to the Graduate Research Center is restricted to graduate students and keys are checked out to students at the Lending Services desk.  This renovation affords our graduate students the reserved, quiet study space they require to complete their theses and other graduate level work.  In addition, the Library purchased lockers to provide storage space for students utilizing this area.  The separation of the Graduate Research Center enables graduate students to have access to an exclusive study area, while adding a second quiet space that is open to all students.  Graduate students matriculated at the University have reacted positively to these changes.

Regarding these new study spaces, Kathy Malanga, Assistant Director commented, “We are very pleased that these recent changes have proved to be popular with our students.  The Cheng Library welcomes student input and suggestions as we continue working to ensure that the Library is a friendly and inviting space for students to study both as individuals and in groups.”

As students study habits evolve, the Cheng Library will continue to modify its physical spaces to respond to students’ changing patterns and needs.

March 04, 2013