The Academic Void Filled by Roy O. West

Roy O West Library (1 of 1)
Roy O West Library (1 of 1)

You cannot miss something you never knew.

While hearing stories from seniors about the ‘good-old days’ when Roy was still open, this sentiment was shared by all first-years, sophomores, and juniors as they tried to study in Prevo Library’s limited spaces. After failed attempts to secure a study spot, most students would wind up studying in their dorms. In the words of Brooke Cox, the dean of libraries, the library “lost students.”

Cox shared that as Roy got ready to reopen, a concern was “will people remember what a library space is to be used for?” 

The answer is, yes. 

In the three weeks since Roy’s reopening, students have already claimed the Reading Room as their designated quiet space, reminiscent of the third floor’s reputation in the previous Roy. Every day, students pile into the room and take up residence in their favorite spots, whether that be cozying up by the fireplace or on the sofas by the windows looking out onto Indiana Street. 

With Cafe Roy officially open for business and the Academic Resource Center within reach, students have everything under one roof, and some have even said they are spending up to eight hours in the library. 

First-year Marwa Aarab remarks that the new library has made her feel a sense of belonging to this huge learning community. It has helped fuel her drive for her studies and motivated her to work. Aarab continues to explain that Roy makes her feel seen by the other students also working to achieve their goals in this new space. 

Another first-year, Haley Riley, pointed out that all the various aesthetics and types of study spaces Roy offers are representative of the diverse student body at DePauw. Roy reflects a place that fits everyone’s unique studying styles. 

From the students perched up in the beloved treehouses to the ones doing group work in the study rooms, there is a place for all students in the library. Students even spot their favorite professors grabbing coffee or making use of the new technology resources. The noise-canceling booths have also become a favorite, with students disappearing into their own worlds. The meditation room also offers an escape for a quick nap or to take a second to refocus. Essentially, Roy has become a resource for all things students need to support them on their academic and collegiate journeys.

One of the best things about Roy, according to first-year Andria Lim, is the books. Textbooks, comics, novels – Roy has it all. Whether you are checking out a textbook for your class or picking up a book you’ve been meaning to read, Roy gives access to a wealth of knowledge. With actual, physical, books-there are fewer distractions or interruptions, allowing you to dive into the text. Many students have been taking advantage of the flexible borrowing policies too, with one student carting away 12 books at a time!

While the rest of the students are looking forward to enjoying the library in the coming years, seniors in their last semester feel robbed. 

Senior Kavya Shrivastava says Roy was “snatched away” from her during her first year, and since then, studying in dorms hasn’t been ideal. It is extremely important that there is a distinction between your place of work and your place of relaxation. 

In Roy O. West, there is a certain tone and atmosphere that makes you want to work. Students are more efficient in their tasks and feel more comfortable, as well as capable, of achieving their goals. A library is the heart of a university, and Roy O. West has certainly proven to be the center of all creativity and productivity at DePauw.