Enter the Walter C. Langsam Library on any given school day and you will find it teeming with students studying, working in groups, searching library collections, printing a paper or grabbing a coffee. While always a popular destination on campus, this academic year has seen a resurgence of students in Langsam Library.
In August, the University of Cincinnati welcomed a record 48,300 students — a 3% increase over last year — to begin fall semester. This growth in the number of students on campus, a trend the last 10 years, can be seen in the libraries as well. Since August 22, 155,194 people have entered Langsam Library. On September 13 alone, 5,852 people entered the library – attendance numbers not seen since 2018.
In talking to Michael Alfieri, director of user services in Langsam Library, once they are in the library, students are taking advantage of the variety of spaces and services offered, “We are seeing a mixed use of the facility. Langsam is a social scene on campus, but the study rooms, collaboration spaces and quiet study spaces are completely full by 9:30-10am,” he said.
The Langsam Living Room, introduced last fall, is busy with students studying and collaborating. The variety of seating options, study carrels and white boards have proven very popular with students. “The whiteboards around the facility are completely full of things that are way over my head, which is awesome,” Michael joked.
Visits to the Desk@Langsam have also increased with students checking out materials or asking for assistance. In the beginning of the semester, library staff and student workers were fielding mainly directional questions — students trying to find their classes or services on campus. As the semester has worn on, however, students are now seeking research assistance — from how to order via OhioLINK to database search strategies and heavy course reserve usage.
Online reference questions are active as well. Thus far this semester, Library CHAT has fielded over 200 reference questions.
When asked why Langsam Library is so popular this semester, library student workers gave two primary reasons: first, it is a convenient, comfortable and great place to go between classes; but second, and one we find very fulfilling, is what one user said about the library: “it is the place on campus that makes me feel like I am in college. I have always had classrooms, work spaces, etc., but a large academic library really makes me feel like I am in college.” Welcome to college and to the University of Cincinnati Libraries!
Looking for research, study and group space outside of Langsam? Our nine college and departmental libraries offer diverse study, research and gathering spaces such as the Visualization and GeoStat Labs in the Geology-Mathematics-Physics Library, the Troup Learning Space in the Donald C. Harrison Health Sciences Library, the Stanly J. Lucas, MD Board Room in the Henry R. Winkler Center for the History of the Health Professions and the ever-popular quiets reading rooms found in the College of Engineering and Applied Science, Albino Gorno Memorial (CCM) and John Miller Burnam Classics Libraries, among many other library spaces.