The Observer is a Student-run, daily print & online newspaper serving Notre Dame & Saint Mary's. Learn more about us.



Bookstore opens study space

Sara Felsenstein | Friday, March 19, 2010

Notre Dame students looking for a good place to study who find the Library too quiet, the Coleman-Morse Center too crowded and LaFortune too full of distractions now have a place to turn for a spacious but collaborative atmosphere — the Hammes Notre Dame Bookstore.

The Bookstore recently opened a study space on its second floor, complete with tables, comfortable chairs and light background music.

Director of Retail Operations Keith Kirkpatrick said he hopes more students will begin taking advantage of this new study space.

“So far we’re seeing that it’s being used — not as much as we want it to be used, but that will probably increase,” he said. “This area on the second floor has a great view — a two story window where you can see the Dome.”  

The study space opened just before spring break, but Kirkpatrick said the decision to implement the space was made at the end of September.  

A senior class business project was to conduct a focus group dealing with the integration of the café and the Bookstore, as well as ways to increase student traffic.

“Feedback from the focus group was basically that they wanted [part of] the second floor cleaned up with desks and made it into a study area,” Kirkpatrick said.  

Kirkpatrick said the Bookstore is able to be more creative with the store layout in the spring semester, when the rush of football season has ended. In the fall, the textbook department is collapsed and used for a line queue, but in the spring, that space can be consolidated for other displays.  

“[Study space] is something we didn’t think about before because for us not having space allocated to sell stuff hurts the [business],” Kirkpatrick said. “But we got creative and made the space so we’re not really losing anything.”

School supplies, which were previously situated toward the back of the second floor, have been moved adjacent to the study space so that all of the materials students might need are conveniently located.  

 “One of the other initiatives we have is to reach out to campus to create a gathering space,” Kirkpatrick said. “We have a number of departments on campus that actually hold class here — it’s almost on a weekly basis that they come downstairs … I hope they will use the upstairs also.”  

Kirkpatrick said the Bookstore decided to make the space slightly bigger when they began talking to the Registrar’s Office, who needed additional space for graduation projects. The study space will be used as a sort of graduation headquarters this May. Cap and gown distribution, guest ticket pickups and senior surveys distribution will take place there on May 12 and 13.  

Kirkpatrick said he hopes student traffic will continue to increase as word about the additional study space moves through campus.  

“We get a good number of students [studying in the Bookstore] right now, especially in the café area downstairs. The chairs are comfortable, it’s fairly relaxed, fairly quiet, and it’s open — our hours of operation are 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. which is a pretty good stretch of time,” he said.  

The study space will only last until the end of June, when the bookstore will begin to prepare for the 2010 football season.  

“We’re going to have it up through finals, but it will probably come down by mid- summer because we’re going to need to reset the floor get ready for fall,” Kirkpatrick said.