Five students walk into the library searching for a place to study. They walk around the downstairs looking for an empty table to set up shop.
Almost a complete lap is made before they stumble upon a new study area in the far front corner of the downstairs.
The government documents have been hauled out of the library to make way for a new group study area in the library. This area used to be a space for the federal depositary, but most of these documents are available online, so a decision was made to make the area more useful to students.
“This is the current trend in libraries. Flexible space and group study,” said librarian Sandy Duling.
Students can use this new space without making a reservation, which is different than the other study rooms on the same floor.
It was possible for the furniture to be purchased because of a generous donation made by Stephen Earley, a Castleton alumnus of the class of 1969.
The new furniture includes two couches, several new chairs, tables and whiteboards. Everything is on wheels, so students can rearrange the area the way they like each time they use it.
Duling said though she doesn’t always get over there to see students using the area, the furniture is often in different positions, so she knows it is getting some use.
“I didn’t know about it. I never really venture over to that area of the library. I’m really glad though! I’ll definitely start using it. I love that everything is on wheels,” said student Brittany Winter.
Library specialist Stephanie Traverse was instrumental in picking out the furniture and getting the space cleared out for the space to be possible.
“The furniture was actually in the lounge area for a little bit before we moved it over here. It was getting a lot of use in the lounge so we knew it would work well over here,” Traverse said.
The main goal was to relieve some of the traffic on the current study rooms. Duling said nursing students often study in large groups, so this new space will work well for them.
“We’re not in a position to build a new library, so we’re making the best with what we have,” Duling said.
The library staff hopes to get rid of more documents soon to make room for even more new furniture.
“We were very fortunate to get this donation. We would like to add more tables soon, so we are hoping for another donor,” Traverse said.