Carmichael Library unveils new group study rooms

Photo by Jamie Browder

UM’s Carmichael Library has opened two new group study rooms on the second floor thanks to the funds of an anonymous donor.  

However, the planning and labor that went into creating these new private spaces was carried out by a slew of familiar faces. Because of the efforts of Caysee Ledbetter, Dr. Charlotte E. Ford, Kathy Lowe and the workers belonging to both the Physical Plant, students can now enjoy the library with their study materials, as well as a group of friends without outside distractions.  

The workers at the Physical Plant who constructed the study rooms completed the project during the latest spring and summer semesters in order to have the rooms available for students this fall. “The people who work there are amazing,” said Ford.  

Before the rooms existed, the space was simply additional sections for the library; the windows, walls, doors and panels necessary for the new space had to be constructed from scratch.  

“I think they’re great resources. Our library is all the better now that we have more than just one study room,” said student worker Damian Price.  

To procure a room for a maximum time period of two hours, students simply need to approach a library staff member and request the room be opened. The study areas feature a table, comfortable chairs, a white board and soundproofing panels.  

The soundproofing panels were another part of the meticulous plan put together by the library staff, and were considered essential when developing the room to ensure the second floor of the library remains the quiet floor while study groups can freely discuss within the rooms. When requesting the keys for each room, students may also acquire power banks with wall sockets and USB ports to charge many devices.  

One room is dedicated to the Class of 1959, and the other to Dorothy Wilson ‘42. According to Ford, Wilson is a well-known and admired UM alumna who is a former librarian herself. She has been very generous towards the Carmichael Library and also the UM campus as a whole. Ford stated that she found it very fitting to honor such a great woman with a space that students will use to gather for their studies.   

Ford additionally hopes students will be honoring Dorothy Wilson and the Class of 1959 by making heavy use of these rooms as the school year progresses.  

Furthermore, not only are the new study rooms convenient for students, but they also have the potential to foster academic success. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has published literature endorsing the value of studying in a group, stating “By working as a group, students can solve problem sets, prepare for class and study for exams more efficiently than working alone. This strategy is especially effective and satisfying for students who enjoy group discussions and want to learn from others.” 

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