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UI officials say more study space on it's way

BY JENNY EARL | DECEMBER 12, 2011 7:20 AM

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For Stephen Bishop, his bedroom is the quietest place to prepare for his four finals this week.

The University of Iowa junior said past attempts to study in space on campus have proven unsuccessful because of the noise around him.

 

"I think [study places] get packed at times — they get a little rowdy," he said.

UI officials admit study spaces are tight on campus, but upcoming projects will provide more areas for students to study as soon as the spring.

"We've definitely had some challenges with the flooding and that kind of stuff, but we try really hard to accommodate student needs," said Kristi Bontrager, the coordinator of public relations for the UI Libraries. "We understand students need a quiet place to study and group study spaces — we're getting there."

Following the 2008 flood, the Main Library gave up space to house the Art and Music Libraries, she said.

Additional space has been lost with the library's preparation for reconstruction beginning in summer 2012.

Art Building West will reopen before the spring semester, and the Art Library will move back.

Currently, the Main Library only has enough seats for 8 percent of the undergraduate student population, but students should expect to find more study space available for the next set of finals, she said.

The Learning Commons will be built where the library staff offices are located, and the staff will move to the fifth floor, opening up a whole half of a level to students previously unavailable.

"It doesn't do much for us now, but next semester that will open up quite a bit of space on the floor in the west side of the building," Bontrager said.

With the library's lack of space, she said, the IMU is the best alternative.

The IMU study features 344 chairs, 131 comfy chairs, and 86 study tables. In addition, the Main Lounge is now open until Wednesday with added tables and chairs located around the perimeter and center of the room.

Dean of Students David Grady said it's a good idea to get the word out to students so they know of safe places to study.

Beginning this week, the IMU will open more meeting rooms on the second floor after 9 or 10 p.m. Meeting rooms on the third floor will also be made available, and the University Box Office is open 24 hours now for laptop checkout.

UI junior Austin Wakat said the university should offer a lot more space, especially during finals. Wakat suggests the school open up more classrooms in other buildings on campus rather than packing the library and IMU full.

"We know we need more seating — that's another part of why we're renovating the library — because we have more students," said Bontrager.


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