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New Study Room in Hayden To Be Open 24 Hours Daily

By Jennifer DeBoer


A 24-hour study room will open adjacent to Hayden Circulation after overwhelming student approval and a year of waiting for Institute funding.

Construction for the new room will begin May 29, just after the end of final exams, on the area that is currently Hayden’s circulation desk. The project is expected to be completed by the following Labor Day.

“We are very optimistic that the study area will be up and ready to go in time for fall term,” said Nina Davis-Millis, interim associate director for public services. “It’s been in the works for a while.”

Circulation desk to relocate

One of the central components in the study room’s structure is the addition of small common areas intended for group work.

“It will be nice thing for people to be able to study together in a common room, as well to be able to utilize the wireless capability the room will have,” said Theresa Tobin, head of the Humanities Library.

The Hayden circulation desk will be moved to where the map room is now, and the materials currently housed in the reserve book room will also be relocated to be inside the Humanities library, extending the possible hours of use for these books.

What was formerly the Reserve Book Room will be temporarily used as a librarian training facility.

“The recently hired geographical information systems specialist will be given a much-need classroom to train and conduct classes and electronic services,” Davis-Millis said. “Eventually we hope to put a digital resource lab in there.”

Survey ranks 24-hour space first

The proposal for the renovated study space was put forth last year after a survey given to students returned “twenty-four hour study space” as the number one request.

“The creation of the 24-hour study room, including several spaces for groups to meet, is in response to a campus need for an attractive and safe place to study and meet after hours,” Jim Mullins, MIT Libraries associate director for administration, said in a recent press release.

According to Davis-Millis, a 24-hour reading room in another area of the school was closed years ago, and student anger prompted consideration of a new location for the reading room. Currently, the only time the Humanities Library is open around the clock is for the week preceding finals and the week during exams.

“It’s something the students have been asking for for a long time,” Davis-Millis said.

Although access to library materials will still follow the current closing times (midnight for the Humanities Library, and as early as 6:00 p.m. for Hayden and the Reserve Book Room), students will be allowed to go to the new room instead of being forced to move to the fifth floor of the Student Center.

“Nice little corners with soft seats” will provide added comfort, according to Davis-Millis. “It will be an interesting space.”

New study area will be safe place

In the past few days, library administrators met with Chief of Police John DiFava and his staff to discuss the safety aspect of the new study area.

“The area will be well-patrolled, and it will not be visible from Memorial Drive,” Davis-Miller said. Phones in the vicinity will be hot-wired to call Campus Police quickly.

“It will be a very constructive thing for everyone,” Tobin said.