LIS Adds Study Space

Sarah Mazer ’19, Contributing Writer

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The Waidner-Spahr library staff has moved materials and expanded the building’s quiet section to create more study space and prepare for the construction of the Quantitative Reasoning center, which is slated to be built next year. The changes began over the summer and have continued throughout the beginning of the fall semester.

Maureen O’Brien Dermott, associate director of Access Services, explained that many books, musical scores and other library materials were moved to set up more spaces for studying. Musical scores were moved from the first floor quiet section, creating more study spaces and the beginning of the setup for the Quantitative Reasoning Center.

In order to accommodate a large first-year class and meet the growing request for quiet study spaces, the lower level of the library was also rezoned to designate the Information Common area as a quiet section as well. Dermott explained that by rezoning the lower level and opening up space along the perimeter of the lower level, about 189 new seats were added in the quiet section.

Dermott described the library’s focus on creating a comfortable environment for students to study. She acknowledged the popularity of the library as a quiet place to study, saying “we just know that we’re a really popular place to study and we want students to have a variety of different study areas and to create new quiet spaces was very intentional.”

“We’re pretty transparent when it comes to [the plans], I mean there’s certain things like artwork on the wall, the moving of the scores and materials in the building last year and this summer, we communicated that to the faculty and blasted it out to the students,” Dermott said.

Several changes in artwork have also been made in the library, as new student works have been created and new spaces have opened up from the moving of library materials. A large red oil painting on canvas, Untitled, painted by Loul Samater ’99, Weiss Prize recipient, was placed on the wall across from the writing center to fill the new void after the musical scores were moved. However, it was later moved once again as Dermott felt it looked misplaced on such a small wall. The painting now sits on a smaller wall in the second floor quiet section, and there are no immediate plans to fill the void where the painting was on the first floor.

“During the academic year we like to settle things in…we want [students] to be comfortable,” Dermott explained about the summer redesigning of the library. 

The library staff is constantly adding student artwork. The artwork in the library is a combination of student work, donated work, works on loan from the Trout Gallery and the works of Weiss Prize Recipients, Dermott explained. There are six crow statues situated on the second floor, created by Joelle Cicak ’16, as well as photographs from the student photography club.

The most recent student additions are the cardboard sculptures situated in the hallway leading into the quiet section, which Dermott admired for “making a statement” and have received many accolades from students passing by. The exhibit is set to remain in the library until after Fall Pause, after which the library plans to exhibit even more student artwork.