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Enhanced Spaces to Serve Students

Sensory Safe Space

A Sensory Safe Space  opened on the first floor of the Downtown Library in spring 2023. This space has been designed with low lighting, soft seating, plants and wall-hangings to create a soothing environment. 

Sensor Safe Space

Sensory Safe Space located at the Downtown Library

In addition, users have the option to borrow noise-cancelling headphones and personal white noise machines. The space is accessible to students, faculty and staff. This project is a result of careful planning and effort by the Downtown Library Access Services Team: Hilary Fredette, Andrea McDaniel, Hattie Murphy, Savannah Owens, Sam Rahall and James Shaver.

Digital Photography Studio

The Evansdale Library now features a Digital Photography Studio that is open to students, faculty and staff who wish to capture professional, studio-quality photographs. It offers individuals and groups the opportunity to take group and portrait shots, document portfolio photography, conduct product photography and even shoot videos. Equipment can be checked out from the Public Services desk, or users can bring their own personal equipment.

Active Workspaces

Active Workspaces are a student-led initiative that aims to enhance movement opportunities across campus. These spaces are designed to enable students to incorporate physical activity into their work routine or take a refreshing movement break, resulting in improved productivity, focus, energy and overall health.

The Active Study spaces are a collaboration between the Libraries, WVU Student Recreation Center, the Student Government Association and WELLWVU. The Downtown Library equipped four study rooms with yoga mats, yoga balls, stationary bikes and instructional posters to create “Active Study Rooms.” In a second phase of the project, stationary bikes with standing desks were placed on the sixth floor. Hilary Fredette (Libraries) and Sera Zegre (Student Rec Center) helped lead this project.

Student Lounge

The Student Lounge  on the second floor of the Downtown Library is a sanctuary and multiuse space focused on supporting student success, nurturing a sense of belonging and amplifying student voices. Features include comfortable seating, art, manga and textbook sharing collections, filters to subdue the lighting and plants. 

In March 2023, the Libraries used the space to host an in-person editing session for the “Amplifying Appalachia” Art + Feminism Wikipedia Edit-a-Thon, an initiative designed to bolster underrepresented Appalachian stories.

Students in the School of Social Work working as graduate assistants in Research Services developed the lounge with support from the Women of WVU, WVU Libraries and campus and community partners.