MOVE! Move your body, move your mind.

MOVE! Move your body, move your mind.

On Thursday, December 1st, the KnowledgeLab hosted its first student mini-grant project: MOVE! Move your body, move your mind, by Emily Jackson ’18. Thanks to Emily’s idea, the KnowledgeLab purchased a FitDesk stationary bike, elliptical trainer, and several portable pedaler exercise machines for students to use in the library when they study.

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Photo: Tori Clayton
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Photo: Shishi Shomloo

Everyone that came to the event enjoyed trying out all of the different equipment. The elliptical pedaler was a big hit, though the FitDesk, shown below, was said to be the easiest to use while studying or writing on a laptop. Students were also pretty excited about the pedaler machines shown above. It was fun to witness them pedaling while they chatted or read.

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Photo: Shishi Shomloo

These exercise machines are free for all students to use, and have already been utilized in the past few weeks. A huge thank you goes out to Emily, whose creative idea and determination to make it a reality made it all possible. If you have an idea for the KnowledgeLab space and need funding, it’s super easy to apply for a KnowledgeLab grant! It only takes 5 minutes to Propose a Project – grants of up to $500 are available to students, faculty, classes, and student orgs for projects on the themes of knowledge creation, knowledge sharing, and the future of libraries and campus learning spaces, including pop-up installations, events, and more.

About the Author:

Tori Clayton is a Junior at Smith College who is majoring in both English and Music. She is a Libraries Project Assistant in Neilson Library.

Knowledge Lab Furniture Poll

Knowledge Lab Furniture Poll

How do students want to study in the KnowledgeLab?

Now that the KnowledgeLab has been open to students for a few months, we’re starting to consider how we can improve the furniture options in the space to make it more usable and comfortable for our campus community.

For the past two weeks, a poll was left on the whiteboards in the Knowledge Lab asking students about their opinions on new furniture. Our first questions asked whether students would exercise while they study if given the opportunity, and whether they prefer cozy beanbags or sturdy office chair seating.

Here are the results:

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We found that almost everyone was open to exercising while they study.

This feedback will help us in purchasing furniture like treadmill desks, where students can walk as they work on their laptops or use the desk space.

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The opinion on chairs was a little more split. Several people voted for office chairs and several others for beanbags, but many commented that they liked the current chairs in the Knowledge Lab, which are fairly rigid. Another student commented that office chairs with thick cushions would be preferred, so this might be the best way to compromise when buying new seating.

Our next questions asked about preferred color schemes and communal vs. isolated seating. Here’s what we found:

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Interestingly, far more people wanted isolated seating instead of communal seating.

There were also a lot of helpful requests like “chairs with lumbar support” and “more red bean bags and little tables please” that we can take into consideration when we decide on which chairs to buy.

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According to our second poll, more people liked cool colors better than warm colors. Others had their own suggestions such as “natural light” and “light colored wood” which are other aspects that can be important to a particular color scheme. Cool colors and lighter woods seem to be the direction we should take after this poll.

Subscribe to this blog for updates on new furniture purchases in the KnowledgeLab, and submit a project proposal if you have ideas for projects, furniture, or technology for the KnowledgeLab!

About the Author:

Tori Clayton is a Junior at Smith College who is majoring in both English and Music. She is a Libraries Project Assistant in Neilson Library.