Innovative Services

UNC-Charlotte’s Atkins Library embracing students who are parents

Today I had the pleasure of attending an event for something I’m passionate about. The folks at UNC Charlotte’s Atkins Library were opening a second family study room for students who are also parents.

I’m on their advisory board, and when the event invitation came through, I knew I wanted to go check it out.

What’s a family study room? It’s awesome, that’s what! It’s a room designed for UNCC’s student parents. On one side there are computers for the adults; on the other side is a child-size computer, toys, books and beanbags. This enables parents who want to use the resources of the Library to do so with their kids in tow, in a secure and comfortable space, without disturbing the other library goers. Brilliant!

The adjoining room has state of the art technology and collaboration tools so that parents can do group projects while having their kids with them.

If you’re like me, you went to college before you had kids. So take a moment to imagine what it would be like to try to study for finals if you have kids. And you probably also work. How impossible would that feel? Then imagine a place like this, designed with your needs in mind. That not only says “I see you, working and studying parents,” but also, “you belong here and we want to be comfortable.”

Seeing this reminded me of a podcast I recently listened to, about how even though there are more working parents than ever before, the workplace has not evolved to address their needs. The onus is generally on the parents to find workarounds and solutions to the challenges that traditional workplaces create for parents.

How nice to see one example of an organization that did put those needs first. Kudos, Atkins Library.

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