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Health Sciences Library opens spacious and welcoming study zone

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Author Blair Ilsley | Publish Date October 12, 2017

With more than 4,000 students on the CU Anschutz Medical Campus, there is stiff competition for study space. The Health Sciences Library envisioned creating a new, inviting space for studying, and on Oct. 9 it became a reality.

“In 2014, we talked about doing a full building renovation,” said Melissa De Santis, director of the CU Health Sciences Library. “The library has had money in the reserve funds that were earmarked for renovation and had built up over many years. Our original project fell through, so we needed to find a new way to benefit our students.”

They took suggestions from the students about what they wanted and needed out of the library. They got a variety of ideas, all which revolved around the fundamental need for more study space.

“We didn’t want to create a space with a bunch of cubicle offices,” said De Santis. “We wanted to create more of a welcoming environment. So, we chose a nice mix of furniture.”


The colorful 5,000-square-foot study zone is designed around natural lighting.

Sleep pods in CU Anschutz library The futuristic sleep pods offer soothing music and adjustable lights.

“It features over 24 rooms, including 13 doubles and 11 singles for individuals,” said Douglas Stehle, department head of access services and librarian. “There are also individual study cubicles, and work areas for over 100 people -- like restaurant-style seating, booths and lounge areas.”

If students stayed up too late studying the night before, the study zone has them covered with two state-of-the-art sleep pods. These futuristic pods feature soothing tunes and adjustable lounge and light settings.

Library staff in CU Health Sciences Library CU Health Sciences Library Director Melissa De Santis and Department Head of Access Services Douglas Stehle lounge in the new student study zone.

“I’m very excited to have a new study space,” said Christophe Langouet-Astrie, a student in the Graduate School. “When I’m tired of studying, I’m looking forward to taking a nap in one of the new sleeping pods!”

Oct. 19 celebration

The study zone will have an official ribbon cutting Oct. 19 to celebrate its opening, and self-guided tours will be available.

“Although we are very excited about the study zone, this isn’t the end,” said De Santis. “We want feedback from the students so we can continue provide the essentials they need to be successful.”