New Study Spaces & Cafe: How Student Voices are Reshaping the Library


George C. Gordon Library

A busy summer has brought about big changes in Gordon Library!

The Library Cafe is reopening next week! This was the #1 request of students in our spring 2022 survey!  To meet the need for food, coffee, drinks, and a place to eat whenever the library is open (including late nights and weekends), a self-service 'micromarket' has been installed. Visitors and students will pay with Goatbucks, debit, or credit cards for sandwiches, drinks and other grab-and-go items. A coffee machine will also be available. Students and others are also welcome to bring food from home or other dining spots on campus, and use the toaster or microwave to heat up a meal.  An expanded seating area just outside the cafe offers a place to pause and enjoy something to eat or drink. In November, six new cafe booths will be added, providing comfortable roomy places to take a break or meet a friend.  A grand reopening is planned Monday August 29. We hope to see you there!

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

A new interview room, and improved 'phone booths':  On the lower level (1st floor), near the Tech Suites in the Multimedia Lab, the library offers a new room suitable for students to hold a private online meeting or interview. This was another priority for students in our spring survey. Students may use their laptop and borrow a camera if needed from the Information Desk.  A few finishing touches are being made and once it's ready students will be able to reserve it as they do Tech Suites or phone booths. Both phone booths have gotten updates too, with new acoustical panels and desk lamps with a choice of settings. 

Last but not least:  Our popular reading ("unwind the mind") collection on the entrance (2nd) floor now features graphic novels and manga as well as popular fiction and non-fiction. Bringing our graphic novels and manga out into an easily found spot near comfortable lounge seating was another great idea that came out of our student survey. 

We are excited and grateful for the support from WPI that makes it possible to support student priorities and ideas, and we always welcome your questions and feedback.