Graduate students enrolled at Florida Atlantic University, as well as students within the Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine, now have an exclusive lounge in the Wimberly Library to study, relax or just hang out, thanks to the generosity of the University Club of the FAU Foundation.
The Graduate Study Lounge, repurposed from underutilized office and storage space, is tucked away on the west end of the second floor with access controlled by a student’s Owl Card. The lounge opens to a multi-purpose room that is set up with four side-by-side computer stations and collaboration space with a rolling conference table and matching chairs.
Three smaller rooms feature cubicles with partitions for privacy and compartments for storage. A larger sitting room has comfortable sofas and wide white tables with two wall-to-wall windows in the lounge offer natural light and a view of a palm tree-lined walkway of the College of Business and the Computer Lab. FAU colors on the walls and a sign with FAU’s mascot Owlsley adds to the ambience. Two PCs and two MACs are installed in the lounge, along with several electrical outlets and data ports, allowing students to connect to the Libraries’ electronic resources as well as to FAU’s suite of software tools.
“When University Club members indicated their desire to contribute to the Libraries, we presented them with the idea for a Graduate Study Lounge,” said Carol Hixson, dean of University Libraries at FAU. “This project is the ideal expression of the University Club’s commitment to the students of FAU and enabled the Libraries to address a critical need.”
News of the exclusive study lounge is spreading quickly at FAU, where 6,000 American and international students come for graduate studies, and more than 100 graduate degree and graduate certificate programs are offered. A Graduate Student Life Task Force in 2015 recommended that FAU establish spaces on campus for graduate students, who have long expressed a need for quiet study space. There has been a steady flow of graduate students using the lounge since it opened in August.
“We are pleased and appreciative that Dean Carol Hixson spearheaded the opening of the Graduate Student Lounge in the Wimberly Library,” said Deborah L. Floyd, Ed.D., dean of the Graduate College at FAU. “On behalf of our graduate students, thank you.”
Amanda Chiplock, a senior medical librarian at FAU, said the lounge is conducive for student success among medical students and scholars.
“With a complex, integrated curriculum and board exams scheduled throughout their medical school career, medical students need a quiet study space to allow them to focus in a way that they may not have needed to during previous schooling,” said Chiplock. “The Graduate Study Lounge offers just the place for intense study in a relaxed, comfortable environment.”