Library renovations address study and research needs

Gaurav Ganwani, DMSB’17, is one of many Northeastern students taking advantage of the new collaborative study areas at Snell Library, including the 23 group study rooms added to the first floor last summer.

“I definitely get more group work done here,” said Ganwani, a finance major. “I really like the new layout and the upgraded technologies.”

The new group study rooms are part of Snell Library’s two-year transformation to address the need for greater access to educational technology; additional study spaces; and new, innovative opportunities for teaching and learning.

In the fall of 2012, Northeastern opened the Digital Media Commons, an innovative media lab and digital creativity center located on the second floor of the library. Since then, Northeastern has expanded the cutting-edge workspace to include a 3-D printing studio.

The expansion of the DMC is also reflected in two other initiatives: new fourth ​​floor study spaces reserved specifically for graduate students; and the creation, on the second floor, of the Digital Scholarship Commons—an integrated service point for faculty, doctoral students, and others to access a range of high-​​level services for digital scholarship, teaching, and research.

More than 200 seats have been added to Snell Library in the last two years, including 80 new seats in traditional furniture on the third floor and 86 seats on the fourth floor. More than 40 seats were added to the library’s first and second floors, including the group study rooms and new informal study spaces with modern furniture, which offers a range of seating and desk options.

So far this academic year, the number of visits to Snell increased 4 percent as compared to the previous year. University Libraries Dean William Wakeling said the increase is an example of Northeastern students’ dedication to their work.

“I think there is just an increasing intensity in student studying on campus,” he said. “There is demand for more study space campus-wide and we are doing our bit to respond by offering a variety of unique options.”

In December, the Northeastern Student Government Association administered its annual budget priority survey, which gives the SGA feedback from students on what they want to see on campus.

When asked which floor in the library was their favorite for studying, 36 percent of some 1,500 respondents picked the third floor, which has many large group tables and individual cubicles.

Some students said there needed to be more individual study spaces on the first floor and noted that its new couches are not conducive to long study sessions.

“Overwhelmingly students said they need more individual study space,” said SGA President Nick Naraghi, CIS’15.

Jack Sun, DMSB’17, said he thinks the renovations have made the library more comfortable. “It looks much better than before,” Son said, while sitting on one of the new couches on Snell’s first floor. “I like it as it is now.”

According to the survey, 77 percent of students said the library is their No.1 study spot, followed by residential halls and the Curry Student Center. “I think students really like to be in the library,” Naraghi said. “And it’s nice because there is plenty of group space, there are plenty of resources, and there is just a culture of going there to study.”