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Reading room use growing

By Sarah Keightley

After six months, the fifth-floor Julius A. Stratton '23 Student Center Reading Room continues to be a popular studying area for students.

According to Ted E. Johnson, program coordinator for the Campus Activities Complex, the reading room is "a needed study area in the student center." Open 24 hours a day, the room is set up both for private study and for group studying. Moreover, current domestic and international newspapers and international magazines are available in the lounge area.

Since it is monitored, there is not much of a problem of students "living" there, Johnson said.

The Stratton Center Reading Room is often a more popular studying area for the students at the West end of campus, while the students at the other end of campus go to Hayden Library instead. "The reading room is more convenient for students on the [west] end of campus," said Director of Libraries Jay K. Lucker.

Reading room hours will have no effect on the hours for Hayden, which will continue to be open for 24 hours, Lucker said. "It's perfectly appropriate to have two 24-hour study areas." He also pointed out that Hayden serves a different function than the reading room, as it is a library and not just a study area.

The only connection between the libraries and the reading room is that the English-language newspapers for the reading room are paid for out of the library budget. Other periodicals are donated by foreign embassies.

The reading room is particularly busy during mid-terms and finals periods. There was also some concern that students would not have a place to study during Residence/Orientation Week, when the reading room was closed to make room for the Elsewhere Lounge.

Students seem to be especially pleased with the quiet atmosphere and the accessibility of the reading room. Chris Blanc '93 said, "It's like a library, but it's closer [to where I live]." Another student, Donald M. Williams '94, liked the fact that it is not as formal as a library and does not have as many restrictions. Luis A. Lopez '91 found the room "very quiet -- it's perfect for studying." But he did mention that certain areas of the room could use more lighting.