What really surprised me though was seeing three VT students using it as a study/productivity space. TechPad offers a subscription model for “nomads” ($60 per month) providing access to a table and shared amenities. It was finals time and this was their hub.
This is a big challenge for academic libraries, right? Library space is important to students and that’s a legitimate need. But if librarians aren’t valued along with that space, there’s not much preventing students from finding other, perhaps more comfortable spaces, near campus.
An interesting aspect to this is that in conducting interview of students for Influx projects we’ve repeatedly heard students say that being in the library somehow increases their productivity. One person even told us that they visit the corners of the library where the wifi doesn’t reach to prevent distraction.