May 22, 2022

Northwestern’s University Library Replaces Reference Room With Study Lounge

From The Daily Northwestern:

Located in the library’s first floor, the area was designed with input from students in the Segal Design Institute’s Spring 2013 Design Thinking and Communication class as well as general feedback through on-sight polling, said Geoffrey Swindells, user experience librarian.

“One of the things that’s happening in libraries across the country is the move away from traditional space for printed materials — not completely, we still have lots of them — to take advantage of some of the more light-filled accessible spaces to support a different way of learning that most students are undertaking nowadays,” Swindells said.

Northwestern budgeted $525,000 for the project, Swindells said. The revamped room is now equipped with widely available power outlets, individual work booths and a multitude of differently shaped and sized tables that Swindells believes support “a wide range of activities and work styles.”


Weinberg senior Danny Schuleman said he didn’t find the lack of a centralized reference collection to be very concerning for his studies.

“I never used the reference books, and most of my friends who came in here would just come to study — not to use reference books,” Schuleman said.

Read the Complete Article

See Also: “Reference Room Gets Facelift” (via NU; June 25, 2013)

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.