Salem State's Frederick E. Berry Library and Learning Commons has recently made some low-cost, high-impact changes to some existing spaces in order to address ever-evolving student, faculty, staff, and community needs.
An underutilized meeting room became the Meditation Room – BL 213: The Meditation room is intended for prayer, meditation, personal reflection, relaxation, and finding a moment of peace and is available to all library users, including non-SSU local community users. Features include comfortable seating, a small library of religious texts, prayer rugs and low lighting. The library collaborated with the student life office on this space in order to replace the Prayer Room which was formerly in Meier Hall.
A staff office became the Community Meeting Room – BL 220: The Community Meeting Room has a conference table and chairs for up to four people that is available on request to all library users, including non-SSU local community users.
A former staff office became the Family Study Room – BL 219: The Family Study Room is a private study room reservable online for students, faculty, and staff to study and work on projects with their children present. According to Fall 2018 Mapworks data 20.66% of undergraduate respondents indicated that they have dependents (children under age 18 that they have responsibility for). The largest group reporting this was first year students. The creation of this room also addresses Graduate student needs and family-friendly options the Employee Resources Group is seeking to expand.
A nook in the spacious lobby became the IDEA Den: The Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Awareness Den (seating area): The IDEA Den is a comfortable seating area at the entrance to the Berry Library with a rotating collection of books and materials related to these topics. Each month features a new theme: September was immigration, October was social justice, November is Libros en Español (books in Spanish), and December will feature books and student projects done in collaboration with SOC 306 The Black Woman.
Learn more about these and other library spaces and services.
Funda Shafer, Coordinator of Library Administration