Student Union and Library Collaborate to Improve Student Experience

At the heart of campus, the Brandeis Library strives to be a place where the community can come together to learn, create and relax.

Developing partnerships with leaders across campus makes this vision possible. Student Union President Hannah Brown '19 said it is important to have a link between the Library and the Student Union to make sure that undergraduate and prospective student voices are heard.

"We both benefit from that relationship," she said.

The Student Union represents student interests and concerns on campus. If a student experiences an issue with the Library, the Student Union facilitates the conversation with the Library and other administrators to find a solution.

The Library has partnered with multiple student groups on projects in recent years. The bike desks located in Farber Level 1 were the result of a collaboration with the Brandeis Undergraduate Library Council using funds from the Student Union’s Community Enhancement and Emergency Fund (CEEF). The solar study table on the plaza was proposed and entirely driven by students in the course “Greening the Ivory Tower: Improving Sustainability of Brandeis and Community” (AMST 191b), taught by Professor Laura Goldin, and funded through the Brandeis Sustainability Fund.

The Student Union also works with the Library to help determine the best use of space and opportunities to better serve the needs of the student population. Brown said students see the Library as a place for socializing, and the Student Union examines the use of space and materials to develop more opportunities for the community to connect and collaborate.

The Library’s recent elimination and reduction of overdue fines and the introduction of a Food for Fines program are examples of the Library working together with the Student Union to incorporate student feedback into real policies. By making the borrowing process more affordable, the Library becomes more inclusive.

"I think it's a great start to move more social justice into the structure in our Library," Brown said.

She added that she is impressed with how the Library is constantly forward-moving and forward-thinking. The Library continues to seek input from the student population through organizations like the Student Union and Brandeis Undergraduate Library Council to explore opportunities for improvement.

"You can always tell that the Library is looking out for student needs and ways to become more accessible," she said. "I'm happy to support that, and so is the Student Union."