Southeast Missouri State University’s Kent Library and Information Technology recently opened a Family-Friendly Computer Study Room to allow student-parents a comfortable place to study with their children.
“The Kent Library Family-Friendly Computer Study Room is a safe, comfortable space for student-parents to study, do research, work on course assignments, write papers, and be with their children at the same time,” said Barbara Glackin, dean of Kent Library.
The room, located on the library’s main floor, includes a computer and two desks for student-parents and books, toys, puzzles and nap pads for their children. There also is a small set of tables and chairs for younger children to use. The extra desk also allows older children to do homework while their parent is studying.
The walls of the room are decorated with artwork created by children at a pizza party hosted by Dr. Jennifer Bengston, assistant professor of anthropology at Southeast, and Dr. Debbie Lee DiStefano, professor of foreign languages at Southeast. Their colorful drawings and pictures help create a family-friendly atmosphere for the students and their children.
The idea to create the room was due to the extra challenges student-parents face with balancing family and school life with other demands, said Glackin.
“This room allows student-parents to feel less torn between study and family time by creating a place where the two can be combined,” Glackin said. “Student-parents have a place where they can concentrate on studying or research and kids can be kids.”
Additionally, student-parents don’t have to worry about bringing their children to a mostly adult space and their children have the opportunity to see mom or dad working hard to achieve a goal and experience the excitement of being with them on campus.
“The family-friendly computer study room is an asset to the University as a whole,” Glackin said. “Having a defined space for parents to study and be with their children supports student parents in a new-way.”
To access the Family-Friendly Computer Study Room, visit the circulation desk located on the main level of the Kent Library or the computer lab assistant on the third floor.