Introducing 3 East

3 East Triples Group-Friendly Space in Park Library

There’s a new place in the Park Library where students can work on group projects and study together: 3 East. Combined with existing group study rooms and the Copeland Suite, 3 East triples the amount of space specifically designed for groups.

The 3,000 square-foot study area combines student preferences for library study spaces with guidelines from the 2015 Park Library master plan. The master plan recommended creating open and flexible spaces for active learning and collaboration. Students who responded to the library’s 2018 survey indicated they wanted more group collaboration spaces, comfortable seating, outlets for charging mobile devices, marker boards, and furniture that can be rearranged.

The design of 3 East was inspired by features tested out in the Copeland Suite, which opened in 2016. Both spaces offer three-sided study pods, marker boards, outlets for charging mobile devices, lounge furniture, and movable tables and chairs. The post-and-beam framework and wall panels used in 3 East define the study pods and create a sense of enclosure while allowing visibility into and out of the pods. The wall panels provide acoustic control, and the post-and-beam framework enabled continued use of existing HVAC systems. Many of the furnishings in 3 East are made from recycled content, are recyclable, were made using clean energy, or contain no toxic elements. From the maroon center wall to the gold couches, pride in CMU is evident throughout the space.

Nearly 20 years ago, the circular east section of the library building was added to the now 50-year old rectangular section of the building. Learning and research methods have changed quite a lot during the past 20 years. Journal publishers began providing electronic access to journal articles in the 1990s, first on CD-ROMs, and eventually on the internet. Today, students and faculty access the library’s journal collections almost exclusively online. During the past two years, the library removed physical volumes for which we have online access and purchased online archives of older issues for heavily used journal titles. The bound journals that remain on the third floor either are not available in digital format, or we do not have access to these resources online.

We hope our students enjoy studying in 3 East! In this group-friendly space, students can talk out loud, learn in the presence of others, and get things done.

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