As a student at WPI the library is a safe haven when I need to seriously get work done. There are a variety of work areas to choose from, and spaces for all study types. For the long, coffee, class, and project filled days I’ll start off upstairs at a computer workstation, before my group meetings. I usually end up in the small study cubbies on the first floor during the afternoon when the building is crammed full of students.
However, the building itself is not the only resource the library has to offer. The research and instruction librarians, who staff the reference desk, are amazing when it comes to helping students with research and finding, otherwise hidden, sources for projects. The library has access to thousands upon thousands of articles through subscriptions to online journals, not to mention the tons of physical books and reports contained in the collection.
A little known fact, to most students, is that the library holds copies of many technical reports from large organizations, even government organizations, and they are all located on the ground floor! A great example would be the technical reports published by NBS, the National Bureau of Standards, which was the precursor to NIST, the National Institute of Standards and Technology. This organization carried out studies relating to the creation of testing equipment used to create the standards that are now found commonplace and accepted as truth, as well as studies about human behavior and how people interact with technology.
The fact that the Helpdesk is now in the library is amazing! The technology Helpdesk provides laptops to use, when all of the desktop computers are taken or you just want to go sit in a corner and do work but forgot your own laptop at home. They are also there to answer questions or try to help troubleshoot problems. This is definitely a plus for me since I am one of the students that loves technology, but it does not seem to return the feeling. In my years at WPI I have had computers crash multiple times… each time the Helpdesk has been able to help me save my files and transfer them over to a new computer on a few occasions as well.
All in all, the library is an amazing resource. It provides a place to work, where productivity is encouraged, as well as resources to help you succeed and carry out projects that will have an effect and make a positive impact on society and the world!
P.S. did I mention that there are also movies and video games on the third floor that can aid in giving you a break to prevent mental meltdown?