Malaika Desrameaux/Contributing Writer
Twenty-minute naps are up for grabs in the library.
As part of a grant from student tech fees, FIU’s Glenn Hubert Library installed an EnergyPod by Metronaps in October 2017. After noticing impromptu naps in the library, they wanted to develop a space to rest comfortably and efficiently with a little help from technology.
The library’s faculty and staff, inspired by similar pods at Google Headquarters, worked to create relaxing and productive environments for students.
“Students lead very busy lives and sometimes they need a home away from home and the library tries to be that space,” said L. Bryan Cooper, associate dean of university libraries.
The pod was “developed around a scientifically proven principle: a 20-minute nap is beneficial for wellbeing and productivity,” according to the EnergyPod’s user manual. The station features noise cancelling headphones, which provides music programming for the duration of the nap. Students can close the privacy visor, an optional vision shield, for a secluded environment. The pod also reclines forward, elevating the feet above the heart.
The relaxation pod is part of a larger initiative to improve the University’s study spaces through technology. The project, “Technology in Active Learning Spaces,” renovated several areas throughout the first floor of Hubert Library.
This included ergonomic white boards, digital signage and Open Access Collaboration tables. The OAC tables allow students to connect, share and project their laptops with large screen televisions. The tables and ergonomic white boards have wheels and connectors for customizable study spaces. Through a request by SGC-BBC, the library also increased the lighting on the first floor.
Following the renovations and changes, the staff noticed an increase in student traffic. They also noticed more students collaborating with their peers, especially for multimedia projects.
To further develop the Hubert Library’s spaces, Cooper said the library is working on a second project. Inter-Disciplinary Educational E-immersive Production or iDEEP, will support virtual reality, Ultra-High Definition panoramic video and gaming. It will also provide syndicated cultural presentations from the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in New York City and the African-American Research Library and Cultural Center in Fort Lauderdale, FL. iDEEP will be located next to the Starbucks in Hubert Library, on the first floor. The project is set to be completed in Fall 2018.
Eliana Morales, a senior majoring in public relations, took a nap in the relaxation pod for the first time this semester.
“I have huge gaps between my classes and taking a nap helped me kill time,” she said. “I wish I had this pod when I first started at FIU.”
While the pods are currently only found at the Glenn Hubert Library, Cooper said he’s heard talks of implementing them at the Green Library in the Modesto Maidique Campus and BBC’s Wolfe University Center.
The relaxation pod can be found in the Glenn Hubert Library near room #175, with wipes to sanitize the equipment after use.
“Sometimes, a quick nap is a better way to re-energize instead of a cup of coffee,” said Cooper.
Feature Image by Malaika Desrameaux