If you’ve been in the DiMenna-Nyselius Library lately, you may have noticed many new changes. 

One major change is the brand new Academic Commons on the first floor. Curtis Feree, collection development librarian for non-licensed resources, said that this collection of academic and student support services is intended to make the library a one-stop-shop for students. 

“The idea is that we have concentrated in one space a lot of the services that are geared towards helping students in their academic success. The Writing Center has always been here, but now we’ve moved in the Math Center and the Accessibility Office and other academic services,” Feree said. 

Sophomore Reid Rizack said that the Academic Commons is a great update to the library.

“Everyone knows that these departments are now here in the library. I went to the math center with a group, and I’m definitely coming back for the tutoring. It’s a fantastic change,”  Rizack, who is majoring in business, noted. 

Freshman Nicole Manserra also likes that the Math Center is now in the library, because it makes it easier to access tutoring. 

While Fairfield students had positive comments about the Academic Commons, many worried about the lack of seating in the library.

Sophomore Caroline Timmerman, who is an international studies major, said she liked the upstairs seating and the addition of the Academic Commons, but she believes there are now fewer chairs and desks on the first floor.

Senior Annie Culliton, a politics major and Spanish minor, agreed with the belief that there is now a lot less seating upstairs and downstairs where the printers used to be. 

Sophomore Julia Wooby added that during finals week, students will often avoid sitting next to someone, leaving spaces between each other.

Wooby believes this problem may be even more visible in finals week this coming December, but she has advice for her fellow students.

“People just need to get over themselves and sit down and do their work,” Wooby advised.

Wooby also suggested that as the library continues to undergo changes, they should add more bathrooms.

“Every time I go to the girls’ bathroom, there are about twelve people just standing there [in line],” Wooby added. 

While many students believe that there are now fewer seats on the first floor, no one who works for the library ever confirmed this belief.

Senior Sarah Whalen, who works for the Office of Student Accessibility, noted that the new Student Accessibility Office has more space for students who need access services. 

“I think the library is more central on campus. We have a lot more space, so we can definitely accommodate more students,” Whalen explained. 

Sophomore Dominica Mis believes the Academic Commons is a good addition to the library.

“The library is where you do school work, so it should also be where you get help,” Mis noted.

Junior Jack Campbell said that he appreciates that the IT Department is now located on the first floor of the library.

“I work for the IT Department, and I’m really happy with the new changes. I like the office better. I also think the Office of Accessibility being here will make it easier for students to reach out,” said Campbell, who is majoring in finance and minoring in computer science and business analytics. 

Provost Christine Siegel, Ph.D. said via email that Fairfield University is always working to upgrade and maintain their facilities in order to enhance teaching and learning experiences. She cites the Academic Commons project as a great example of that ongoing work.

Both Siegel and Christina McGowan, Interim University Librarian, said that the Academic Commons Working group is hosting an Open House on Friday October 4 from 2 p.m.-4:30 p.m.

“We welcome everyone to come and learn more about the Commons,” Siegel said.

About The Author

Contributing Writer

Mimi Loughlin is a recent graduate of Fairfield University, where she majored in English/ Digital Journalism.

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