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Health Sciences Library to no longer be study space

The W. K. Kellogg Health Sciences Library, located in the Sir Charles Tupper Medical Building and better known as the Kellogg, will no longer function as a student study space as of January 2016.

Instead, students can study in the Learning Commons area of a building currently under construction, the Collaborative Health Education Building (CHEB).

The CHEB will be five storeys, with the main floor set aside for the Learning Commons. It will be connected to the Tupper Building through a link beside the Tim Hortons.

The plan for the common area shows classrooms, seminar rooms, many group study areas and computer work desks. It will be much more technologically advanced than the Kellogg.

The space will add about 50 seats. Looking at the plans, there are students who are concerned that the CHEB will not provide adequate individual, quiet study spaces.

A distinct feature of the Kellogg is the individual, private study carrels lining the outside of the second floor. Plans for the CHEB do not currently show any similar carrels.

“It’s a nice thought but it’s probably not going to happen the way they’re envisioning,” said Russell Christie, Dalhousie Medical Students’ Society president.

Christie envisions an ineffective study space where group study spaces with six to eight seats will be utilized by only two, three or four individuals at a time, leaving many seats unused.

“That’s the story of libraries and public spaces,” said Peter Ellis, Health Sciences Librarian. “It is a problem that people do move into a room that could use more people. And that’s the kind of thing you work with usually, and use your diplomatic skills.”

“It’s just awkward,” said Christie. “It sounds very juvenile, but if there’s three or four people studying in a room who are clearly a group of people, it going to be very hard for an individual to walk in and take that last spot.”

With construction of the CHEB well underway, the most reasonable option for creating more individual study space is to decide on the furniture being used.

“The Kellogg is a well worn shoe,” said Ellis. “There’s a lot of wins here. Making sure that we address student needs is part of it.”

“When I look at this plan, I see a lot of chairs that will go unused that maybe could be distributed more effectively,” said Christie. “We’re hoping to be involved in that discussion, if it happens.”

The physical collection of books, journals and other reference material in the Kellogg will be moved to the main floor of the library.

The second floor of the Kellogg will be renovated to house two schools within the Faculty of Health Professions currently in rental space off campus: the School of Health Administration and the School of Human Communication Disorders.

Currently, there are no plans for the use of the fourth and fifth floors of the CHEB. Plans for the CHEB can be found in display cases at the entrance of the Kellogg Library.


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