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New study spaces installed in Goldfarb

Throughout the summer, both Goldfarb and Farber libraries have seen steady improvements to their infrastructure as well as gained additional study spaces for further student interaction. Matthew Sheehy, the Brandeis National Committee University Librarian, acts as the strategic guide for the university as well as a supporter for the faculty in regards to different teaching methods and research. Sheehy reports to the Provost of the University, Lisa Lynch.

Sheehy went into detail about all of the renovations that need to be made at the library. Since Goldfarb was built in the 1950s and Farber in the 1970s, there are many areas of the library that were used in the 20th century that are no longer in use today, which were the main areas that Sheehy worked to renovate. He explained that it would be way too expensive to tear down the current library and build a new one, given the limited capital resources he is allocated. Because of this, he is working to make due and renovate in the places where he can.

In general, Sheehy is looking to continuously make improvements as a community center, keeping all the main archives as dry spaces, making the library more environmental friendly and displaying student’s artwork around the library.

The first major renovation that was done was adding additional lighting to Farber one near the cafe area. According to Sheehy, the old microfilm room was no longer in use, so it was converted to help bring more lighting to the ground. Lighting was also added to “the dungeon” study space, located in Goldfarb three.

The previous accessibility room in Farber Mezzanine has been converted to another study space, doubling the study rooms on the mezzanine. Sheehy felt it was necessary to add this as a larger study space for students because it had no use as an accessibility room any longer. Two additional study spaces have been created on the first floor of Goldfarb in old office spaces.

Ever since the MakerLab began at Brandeis, it has continued to expand as more and more incoming students have gotten involved with research. Because the size of the lab has exponentially increased, additional space has been provided as an Automation Lab on Farber one to allow for further research and the expansion of the MakerLab. This space will also be used to further integrate teaching and learning about robotics and other electronics.

The Sound and Image Media Studios (SIMS), previously known as the Getz Media Lab, has gotten more equipment for Basement Records as well as a glass wall in their classroom to allow for more seating.

Noah Harper ’19, Arts Editor of The Brandeis Hoot, works at SIMS and notes that “with the added glass panels and other renovations, the SIMS Lab finally feels like home.”

Faculty spaces also saw renovations. Faculty were too pressed for space in the individual faculty study rooms near the Writing Center, so the library built a faculty study space next to the Judaica Room on Goldfarb Mezzanine. This space is for faculty, staff and visiting scholars to have an area to work outside of their offices to accomplish more tasks.

The Digital Humanities Lab, used for scholars in the humanities to study ancient works, is currently under renovation. Sheehy explained that this space will one day be for more than just the humanities students and faculty. Instead, it will be for all the social sciences together. Even though there is not a lot of work being done, Sheehy is looking to update the outdated technology in the room as well as make the environment more conducive to modern work habits, as opposed to the ones of previous decades.

A new Meditation Room is another addition to Goldfarb Mezzanine. Adorned with mats and pillows, students can come here for a quiet space in the library, regardless of their religious or personal beliefs.

Sheehy explained that back in the 20th century, it was necessary to have an additional projection room on the other side of classrooms to display things on screens. The room now housing the meditation space used to serve this purpose for the neighboring computer classroom. With the change to projectors at the front of the room, projection rooms became out of date, and the space could be used for something else, making room for the Meditation Room, which is open to the public.

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