The transparent pods in the Taylor University Zondervan Library look like they could be time machines. What are they? They’re the new study pods!
The study pods are located in the Zondervan Library and are very simple. An automatic light turns on when the door is opened, along with electric air circulation that also serves to provide quiet white noise. The study pods are soundproof, moveable, and have transparent siding. In addition, there is a power socket to allow students to plug in their devices. For those who are shorter, there is a footbar under the adjustable stool.
The students’ reactions to these new study pods in the library are mixed. Some students really appreciate the study pods, while others feel less inclined to use them.
Freshman Landry Woolever loves the study pods. His favorite feature is their location.
“You’re kind of still in the middle of everything, you can still look out and see what’s going on and stuff, but it’s like you’re still isolated,” Woolever said. “You can still focus and get what you need done. (They are) really helpful for me, and fun. They have swivel chairs, big plus.”
Freshman Andrew Beaverson enjoys the study pods. While he likes the noise cancellation, he thinks that the transparent siding makes studying a little awkward.
Beaverson tested the noise cancellation with some friends and discovered that while he was in the pod and his friends were outside, they could not hear each other unless they raised their voices.
“So it actually works really well if you need to zone out other people,” Beaverson said.
Unlike Woolever, Beaverson believes the study pods could be more beneficial in a different location.
“While they work well, I do think it could be mildly redundant because there are already a lot of (study) rooms, plus the library is typically very quiet,” Beaverson said.
He suggested a different spot for the study pods to be placed: the LaRita Boren Student Center.
Beaverson said the study pods might be better placed in a space where there is naturally more noise, but where students still want to study.
Fifth-year senior Zachary Harbron has never used the study pods.
His biggest concern is the size of the pods.
“I feel like there wouldn’t be quite enough room for me to spread out all my stuff,” Harbron said.
For Harbron, the study pods may not be the ideal study space. In his opinion, there may be other possible uses for the study pods. “(They) might be a good place to journal and think, like a prayer room,” he said.
Given the quiet atmosphere of the pods, they could potentially be a good reflection space.
As for the overall appearance of the study pods, Harbron said, “They look kinda dystopian. Making them look a little more friendly would be greatly appreciated.”
Multiple students have reflected the same view. Some have also said that, style wise, the pods may fit better in the Stu rather than in the library.
Freshman Serena Lee has never used the study pods but thinks they are really cool.
“(A) positive thing is that no one can hear you, unless you, like, scream,” Lee said.
The soundproofing capabilities of the study pods seem to be one of the first things students explore when they step inside. Thus far, the noise cancellation quality seems to be satisfactory.
However, like Harbron, Lee is concerned about the size for the purposes of studying.
“If you just want to sit in there and, you know, watch a video or something, I guess you could,” Lee said. “But study in there, I don’t know if I would just because it’s kind of uncomfortable and small.”
Other students have agreed, saying they would prefer a more spacious study area where they could spread out or lean back and relax.
While the positive aspects of the study pods are varied, the main concern remains the same: their size.
“With the desk being so small, it’s a little bit difficult to fit very many items on there,” Woolever said.
However, for a study session with limited textbooks or with a computer, the study pods seem sufficiently sized.
Multiple students think the study pods appear freaky and intimidating, but others think they look really cool and alien. Some students have also said that they would feel like they were on display if they used the study pods. The overall reaction to the new study pods in the Zondervan Library is mixed, and only time will tell the success or failure of these study spaces