All-hours study room adds 137 power outlets

The search for a power outlet will soon become much easier for students who work on their laptops at the library.

Over the summer, Shields Library started adding outlets in the Extended Hours Reading Room, a students-only hall entered from the outside. The room, often crowded as the only study area on campus that never closes, used to have just seven outlets. By early fall quarter it is scheduled to have 144, or about one for every chair.

Last school year, students mentioned the lack of outlets to Eric Friedman, a student senator for the Associated Students of UC Davis. He wrote a student government bill to raise funds, and talked with Helen Henry, associate university librarian for administrative services. The students joined with the library and other campus organizations, including Information and Educational Technology, to pay the cost of $15,960.

"I'm really excited about it. Essentially we'll have a fully functional portable computer lab," Friedman said. "The 24-hour room has a lot of potential."

"It's a great project," commented recent graduate Stephanie Nuccitelli, who had attended a student focus group on the subject. "It was a little annoying because before we couldn't just sit anywhere, we'd have to go find a table near an available outlet."

Those tables, Nuccitelli said, were often either occupied or in the wrong place.

The outlets are being installed in carrels facing the walls and along the tops of the long tables that stretch out from the windows. An area without outlets will be designated for students who don't need any.

A similar project undertaken and funded by t he library in summer 2006 added 90 outlets in the second and third floors of the south wing of Shields, and fixed others that weren't working.