Relaxing in the library

To make studying more tolerable for students, the staff of the library in MetaForum has come up with three initiatives: Take-a-break pop-up desk, Feed Your Brain-workshops, and flyers to save your seat during a break. They can be used during lunch hour.

photo Norbert van Onna

Claire Vereecken, Front office team leader at the Information Expertise Center, notices a great deal of stress among the students who study at the library. It is quite noisy, especially in the afternoon: “Every half hour, one of us walks through the library. We look out for students who are too noisy and who are eating, which is not allowed. Very often, when we confront them, they answer: ‘But this is the first thing I’ve eaten today.’ To reserve a workplace while the student eats elsewhere, flyers are now available.”

On the flyer, you indicate that you are on a break. This is possible between 12:00 and 2:00 PM. Write down your name, put the flyer on your seat and take a picture of it. That picture is your proof. “It’s an idea which has already been put into practice by the university of Wageningen,” says Vereecken.

Students often tell Vereecken and her colleagues that the library is too crowded. She has also noticed that students sometimes study for days on end: “Students can be found studying in the library for twelve hours in a row sometimes. You read a lot about study stress these days. As a library, we want to create a ‘moment of rest.’”

Besides the flyer, there are other ways to motivate students to take a break. “There will be a workshop and a meditation/feelgood session twice a month. These sessions are organized in cooperation with The Health Club, founded by the owners of Foodtruck. The workshops and feelgood session are held between 12:00 and 2:00 PM. During that period, you can leave your flyer at your workplace so you can be sure that you will still have a seat when you return to the library.”

When you want to leave your computer screen for a while, you can go to the Take-a-break pop-up desk. There you will find different kinds of puzzles (such as sudoku’s), psychology magazines and coloring pictures for adults.

The first workshop will be on Thursday, February 7 in a separate space of the library. Thirty-six TU/e students can apply. The workshop will be held alternatively in Dutch and in English.

For now, workshops have been planned for the next three months, but the intention is not to keep it at that. “If there is sufficient interest, we will continue with the project, and perhaps more fun study breaks will be organized as well.” It is already possible to use the flyers and the Take-a-break pop-up desk.

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