Study rooms and resources available for finals

With Study Week and Finals Week quickly approaching, more resources will become available for students. Parks Library will have longer open hours, and there will be relaxing activities for students throughout the week. There will also be specific classrooms across campus reserved as quiet study rooms for students.

Sage Smith

Iowa State offers various resources and places for Iowa State students to use throughout Dead Week from Monday to Friday and Finals Week Dec. 16 through Dec. 19.

Monica Gillen, communications specialist at Parks Library, said as she understands, the preferred reference to “Dead Week” is now Study Week.

Study Week is the time for students to study for final exams and finish up class projects and papers. Finals Week is when students will take their final exams before winter break.

Students can take advantage of the Parks Library hours, which change to 24/7 during Study Week. The library will open at 10 a.m. Sunday and remain open 24 hours a day until Dec. 19 of Finals Week.

Gillen said Parks Library has planned activities since they started 24/7 open hours for Study Week and Finals Week back in 2016. The activities at Parks Library are meant to provide students with a chance to take a break from long periods of studying and working.

The Barks@Parks event, which features therapy dogs, will be noon to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday in the Upper Lobby/Rotunda. The paw prints on the floor will lead people to the event.

“We have an ongoing partnership with Student Wellness,” Gillen said. “They will have a student staff person at Parks during Barks@Parks who will answer questions about wellness resources. They will also be giving out goodie bags.”

For three days of Study Week, there will be chair massages offered in the Rotunda as well. One chair will be available from 1 to 4 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Thursday.

Parks Library will also provide coloring activities, puzzles and fruit during the overnight hours of both weeks. The Mindfulness Room will also be available for use during library hours. Group study or meeting rooms in the library can be reserved from the University Library website by clicking the ‘Group Space Reservations’ page.

Students can find various places in the library to study or work on projects with a group. It can be a good place to get away from possible distractions in their apartments or dorm rooms, and Gillen said it can be a place for people to connect.

“Over the course of Study and Finals Weeks, if students come to Parks often, they will likely find they are studying near or next to the same person for days in a row,” Gillen said. “They may or may not introduce themselves, but in the end, they have the library in common. They have added to the familiar faces they will see on campus.”

There will also be classrooms around campus for students to use as study rooms, which are available through Room Scheduling throughout Study Week. Students can use these study rooms from 5:10 to 11 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Katie Baumgarn is a program coordinator in the facilities planning and management department at Iowa State. Baumgarn is part of the Room Scheduling office, which is under Planning Services.

Baumgarn said several years ago they had students reaching out to their departments and colleges saying they didn’t have a place to study. Baumgarn and her colleagues then found some classrooms to reserve.

“It’s first come, first serve, but just because there’s somebody already in the room doesn’t mean you can’t go in and study,” Baumgarn said. “It’s just a quiet place; that’s all it is.”

The rooms available this semester during Study Week will be: Carver 0132, 0282, 0294; Pearson 3131, 3143; Physics 0052, 0056; and Ross 0127, 0129, 0131.

“We have three buildings that we consider our activities centers, and it’s because they have the largest number of classrooms in them; and it’s Carver, Pearson and Ross,” Baumgarn said. “They have quite a few classrooms, all three of those buildings. Then I just threw Physics in because it was kind of on the north side of campus and there were some rooms open.”

These study classrooms do not need to be reserved. Room Scheduling has not recorded how many students utilize the rooms each year.

“That’s the one thing, you know, I do this every semester; and I look at it, and I think, ‘I wonder who uses it, and if they do use it is a good thing, do they like it?’” Baumgarn said. “And then I realize it doesn’t matter. It’s there, so even if just one student is able to go and use one of these rooms and it helps them prepare for their final to where they pass their final to which helps move them through the university or to graduation, bravo. It doesn’t matter.”

Gillen said she suggests students make a detailed plan for themselves, including a sleep and eating schedule from now until the end of the semester. A schedule or to-do list can be a way for students to keep track of deadlines and stay organized.

A concern students may have about Study Week and Finals Week is the noise from recent construction around campus. Baumgarn said she reminds everyone when these weeks are, and there should be absolutely no noise.

“We can’t have hammering, drilling, nothing because anything that can potentially distract a student from focusing on their final is not a good thing,” Baumgarn said. “And we need to give the best environment for them to succeed on their final exam. […] We want them to be as successful as they can be, and not having noise be a disruption or distraction is really, really, really important.”

While at Parks Library for study sessions, students can also take advantage of Bookends Cafe’s extended hours throughout Study and Finals Week. Bookends will be open until 11 p.m. Dec. 13 and Dec. 14 and will be open until midnight Dec. 15 through 18.