New Study Spaces and Café: How Student Voices Are Reshaping the Library | Announcements | New

A busy summer brought big changes to the Gordon Library!

The Library Café is reopening next week! This was the #1 request from students in our Spring 2022 survey! To meet the need for food, coffee, drinks and a place to eat when the library is open (including late evenings and weekends), a self-service “micromarket” has been set up. Visitors and students will pay with goats, debit or credit cards for sandwiches, drinks and other take-out items. A coffee machine will also be available. Students and others are also encouraged to bring food from home or other on-campus eating places, and to use the toaster or microwave to reheat a meal. An expanded seating area just outside the cafe provides a place to take a break and enjoy something to eat or drink. In November, six new cafés will be added, offering spacious and comfortable places to take a break or meet a friend. A grand reopening is scheduled for Monday, August 29. We hope to see you there!

new tables - installation in progress

Updated and expanded seating on the third floor: The books and DVDs formerly on the third floor have been moved to the ground floor, opening up a new study space. Old-fashioned “dogbones” have been replaced by modern study chairs for focused individual study – following a recommendation from a Spring 2022 MQP study that made a strong business case for study tables rectangular. New larger carrels can now be found in the east windows and soft seats along the Unity Hall window areas. Featured books and old-fashioned carrels provide more seating options in the newly opened space. A smaller selection of books will return to the third floor, most likely in the summer of 2023, due to delays in shipping new shelves.

A new maintenance room and improved “telephone booths”: On the lower level (1st floor), near the Tech Suites in the Media Lab, the library offers a new student-friendly room to hold a meeting or private interview online. This was another priority for students in our spring survey. Students can use their laptop and borrow a camera if needed from the information desk. Some finishing touches are in progress and once it is ready, students will be able to book it as they do for tech suites or phone booths. Both phone booths have also been updated, with new acoustic panels and desk lamps with a choice of settings.

Phone booth - updated lighting
Graphic novel collection

Last but not least: Our collection of popular (“relax your mind”) reading on the entrance (2nd) floor now includes graphic novels and manga as well as popular fiction and non-fiction. Bringing our graphic novels and manga to an easy-to-find place near the comfy lounge seating was another great idea that came out of our student survey.

We are delighted and grateful for WPI’s support in supporting student priorities and ideas, and we always welcome your questions and feedback.

About Walter Bartholomew

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