After a year of rebuilding, the fourth and fifth floors of the Moffitt Library reopened on Wednesday, Nov. 2. Hundreds of students and staff thronged the reimagined floors, which are expected to become a top study destination thanks to new student-friendly policies, technology services, and a wide variety of flexible spaces.
As the open house attendees explored the new floors, many students buckled down and applied themselves to their work, such as four political science majors who began studying for their midterm in a group room. One said “we were kind of freaking out when we first came in, because Moffitt is so nice now!”
This group expected to be up until about 4 am, because of the exam the next day. “We will use Moffitt a lot,” one said. “Most places on campus, you’re kicked out at 2 am, which isn’t enough time.”
Another added, “I’m all about the snack-friendly policy. To be able to sustain myself while studying is great. No more sneaking!” They praised the quietness of the study room they had claimed, along with the handy USB ports and walls that could be written on.
Up on the fifth floor, a dozen or so new Brody chairs — individual all-inclusive work areas — were soon completely occupied. Marycon Jiro, a biology major, noted “It’s really hard to find one’s own space on campus. A personal space like this, with walls around a comfortable chair, plus my own light and a desk, cuts out visual distraction. It helps me to relax and to concentrate.” Jiro also looks forward to rehearsing presentations in the new Van Houten Presentation Studio.
New Features on 4 + 5
During the afternoon celebration, student demos included virtual reality, drones and 3D printing. Meanwhile, library staff, student groups, and campus partners showed off services and features such as:
- tech help support
- expanded tech lending
- a presentation practice studio
- a web conferencing studio
- an instruction room
- BearWALK service
- gender inclusive restrooms
- writeable glass walls to aid in collaboration and brainstorming
- work lounges
- art work
A new wellness room earned lots of smiles as students tried out the comfortable lounge chairs and the MetroNap EnergyPod. “It’s great to have a place to go take a quick break and chill out,” one undergrad remarked, “right next to where you’re studying.” Another joked, “I may come here too often.”
The chairs were provided by the ASUC for the REST-Zone initiative, and are reservable for one hour periods.
Moffitt floors four and five now boast living room-like spaces with larger seating areas, and casual chairs and tables which can be flexibly re-arranged. Expansive windows allow for abundant natural light and sweeping views of Memorial Glade.
Matthew Hahn, an MBA/MPH candidate (’17), commented that “Campus really needs new study spaces, especially collaborative ones. The new Moffitt study spaces are ideal because the future of education is about collaboration and teamwork.”
Hahn is also happy about group rooms where he can project from his laptop onto a screen; the wellness room as a place to take a quick break; and the lockers, noting that now he won’t have to lug his belongings around campus all day long.
Akira Bai, likely the first student to eat a meal in the renovated Moffitt, said how glad he was to have a space where he can study and eat at the same time. “There aren’t many places on campus where you can eat indoors. I’m totally happy about the new Moffitt!”
One visitor to the gender-neutral restrooms described himself as “totally in support. I consider myself a progressive and even though these take some getting used to, after that it’s no big deal.” Another student praised the U-shape, and said he thought gender-neutral was a good model for all restrooms.
A low-tech feature in ample supply, whiteboards, came in for repeated praise by students at the open house. One computer science student described them as “essential for every study session.” Another student, Tinh Nguyen, added, “being able to write stuff and have everyone see it is so important. Moffitt has always been my #1 choice of library, and now I’ll be here even more.” When he learned that Moffitt will be open after Thanksgiving for 24 hours, he said “Wow! I’ll always be here.”
Beth Dupuis, who has led the re-envisioning process for Moffitt, commented “It has been a tremendous journey to create a new vision for Moffitt Library. I am so proud to work with all the amazing people who helped develop the ideas and make them come to life. Hearing students rave about the new services and spaces is so satisfying — I can’t wait to see what they do here.”