In a post on their Facebook page, the St Andrews University Students’ Association announced the launch of Find Space, a search feature that allows students to locate available study spaces for independent or group work. The tool is available via MySaint.
The post acknowledged the tool’s launch in advance of revision week. After an increase in the demand for study spaces when the University Library was in peak use, the Dean of Arts, Professor Frank Müller, having spoken with various student representatives, suggested the development of Find Space “to enable students to make the most of University learning space resources,” Christine Tudhope, Senior Communications Director, told The Saint in an email.
Find Space was developed by Lee Coomber in IT Services, Moira Sinclair and Kendra Scott in Planning, Rowan Gard in the Proctor’s Office, and Amina Shah and Andrew Wilson in the University Library.
Ms Tudhope said, “When not being actively used for lectures and teaching purposes, classrooms often sit empty. Therefore, it makes good sense for these learning spaces, when not in active use, to be made available to students from Monday through Friday, 9am to 5pm, when the University is already heating, lighting and caring for these areas.”
Students can find seminar rooms, PC computer classrooms and “a range of Library spaces” with Find Space. The email stressed Find Space was not a reservation system. Its use was for a “day-by-day drop-in only context.” Students can reserve spaces through the Main Library and some of the Schools.
The University hopes Find Space encourages students to seek out available study spaces throughout the University in the hopes that each student finds a study space fit for their studying habits, perhaps in “off-the-beaten-path areas,” the email said. This includes reading rooms and 24- hour computer classrooms.
“Through empowering students to find the learning environment that works best for them, whether that be in the bustling Main Library, the Rector’s Café or a quiet classroom space, the University is actively working to support learning and academic growth,” the email said.
The University will gather data from Find Space after a three-month period and review whether it will need to open up more study spaces to students. “The student experience, especially around issues of learning and academic growth, matters greatly to the Proctor’s Office. Staff are continuing to work on improving the student experience with a number of exciting and dynamic projects currently in the works,” the email said.