Students piled into Moffitt Library on Wednesday afternoon, scoping out newly available study spaces and added features on the recently renovated fourth and fifth floors that have reopened after more than a year of construction.
The floors have been redesigned into workspace areas that provide both individual study spaces and a number of areas for group work — the result of the $15 million renovation project that began in summer 2015. The updated space features individual study carrels located on both floors, portable furniture and whiteboards for group work as well as study rooms that can be reserved for private use.
“I think it’s a lot more student-friendly because you can actually eat here, and there’s so many places you can work together,” said UC Berkeley freshman Shefali Sastry.
The spaces also include new services, such as the Van Houten Presentation Studio on the fourth floor that allows students and faculty to practice and record presentations and a conference studio in which students can use a webcam to work with others. The fifth floor additionally features a wellness room with lounge chairs and a nap pod for students to rest.
“A key mission of the Library is to rebuild our spaces to support the learning needs of today’s students,” said University Library spokesperson Tiffany Grandstaff in an email. “This includes providing services that facilitate collaborative learning and access to the latest technologies. Most of the spaces in Moffitt Library hadn’t been renovated since the building opened in 1970 and they no longer supported how students work.”
Starting Nov. 27, Moffitt Library will be the campus’s sole library open 24 hours, five days a week. A BearWALK escort will be located in the Central Commons on the fourth floor from 10 p.m. to 3 a.m. to walk students to locations near campus.
Sastry said she appreciated the open design of the floors and would make use of the library’s continuous hours.
Many of the new study spaces include glass walls that students are able to write on, and each of the tables includes outlets for students to charge their devices. The walls of both floors display artwork by students, alumni and staff members, with couches placed beside glass windows that overlook Memorial Glade.
According to Grandstaff, the new floors were designed in collaboration with a student advisory group to ensure that the renovation would cater to the needs and desires of undergraduate students in terms of the spaces they need to learn effectively.
The fourth floor now features a technology lending desk where students are able to borrow laptops, iPads, chargers and projectors. Students can continue to receive technological help from the Student Technology Help Desk that was previously located on the third floor.
The “Moffitt Opens Up” celebration from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday included live a capella performances, student art displays and student demos of drones, virtual reality and 3-D printing. People who attended the event began putting the new study spaces to use almost immediately upon entry, working together in the study rooms and utilizing the whiteboards to review math and chemistry problems.
According to campus real estate spokesperson Christine Shaff, construction of Moffitt’s outside plaza where the entrance to the fourth and fifth floors is located will continue into the spring.