Ablah Library 24-hour study room now open


Noah Merrell

Sophomore Anna Le, an elementary education major, takes a photo of her school work in the 24 hour study room in the Ablah Library. “I used this area for studying before it was remodeled and it has improved a lot,” she said. The newly remodeled room opened on Jan. 21.

From last-minute crammers to all-night study sessions, students now have the option of utilizing the newly remodeled E.K and Kathlien Edmiston 24-hour study room in Ablah Library.

Dean of University Libraries Kathy Downes said great deal of work and collaboration with campus employees and construction company, Van Asdale, went into transforming the study space into one where students can feel comfortable, safe, and productive.

The space is set up like a lounge mixed with a computer lab, with couches, booths and cubicles. The construction bid for the project was $148,000.

“We wanted to enhance the study space for students in terms of space, comfort, and safety,” Downes said.

The expanded space includes a number of new features, such as mixed seating, vending machines, six new computers — with two more planned — and a gender-neutral bathroom.

“Most of the things we changed are not changes you will notice right away,” Downes said. “They are more in the background, but they are so important for making the space better for students to use.”

Downes said safety was a main focus in the remodel. After regular library hours end, the front entrance will only allow students and faculty in if they use a Shocker ID card reader. Now, there are also two emergency phones that connect directly to the university police station. Phones are located inside and outside of the bathroom.

“Being a female, I think it is good to have safety measures like the phones and locking doors,” first-year psychology student Brakayla Bradford said. “It helps make sure crazy people do not get in after hours.”

Although the space is not completely finished with aesthetic changes, including plants and a Wichita State logo, Downes said she is excited that students are already using the space to study.

“I will probably use it every day,” junior math education major Siska DeYoung said. “I like the new seats, and the outlets for my laptop are great so I can just plug in and do some work.”

DeYoung also mentioned that the wifi is much faster than it used to be.

Along with snack and soda vending machines, the study room now offers a coffee vending machine. Downes said the new machine is particularly popular.

“We even had a student take a picture of her coffee cup,” Downes said.

The coffee machine could quickly become a necessity for students slogging through late-night finals study sessions.

“It is going to be really nice, especially during finals week, because I am going to be up so late,” sophomore dental hygiene major Aylin Heredia said.

Heredia usually studies in the main library, but she said the new remodel caught her eye.

“I think it is really efficient and it feels welcoming,” she said.

Although the new additions to the study room are an improvement, some students said they would like to see more changes be made.

“I would really like there to be healthier snacks in the vending machines,” DeYoung said. “Something like cheese sticks would be great over chips and other junk food.”

Although there are outlets at most of the tables and chairs in the study room, some of the computers are not near outlets.

“It is a little inconvenient I had to move seats to plug in my phone,” Heredia said.

Downes said she looks forward to hearing feedback from students so the space can continue to be improved.