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Changing Spaces in Bailey Library


CONWAY, Ark. (August 12, 2019) – Hendrix College’s Bailey Library will begin the 2019-2020 academic year with updates that provide a more welcoming space for Hendrix students, faculty, and staff.

Perhaps the least noticeable but most used change in the main library: new security gates to provide more reliable usage information in their function as a gate counter. These more sophisticated gates replace the ones that were moved from the old underground Bailey Library, which closed in 1992.

More noticeable is the reduction in print periodicals bookshelves to open up more space in the Learning Commons, the collaboration between the Office of Academic Success and the library that has provided centralized academic support services since 2015. The Writing Center and Testing Services already resided in the adjacent Snoddy Academic Resource Center, so the 2015 change put all peer learning resources in the same building, which is open to students in evenings and on weekends. The Learning Commons includes an open space with tables, comfortable seating, computer projection capabilities, and whiteboards. It houses foreign language peer learning, and has been used to host talks, library instruction sessions, peer assistant training sessions, and library events, such as the series of classes held by the “Hendrix School of Witchcraft & Wizardry” during Halloween week last fall.

With the expanded study space created by removing shelves and adding tables and study carrels, the Learning Commons can accommodate more students at one time, which will prove useful for new programming from the Office of Academic Success, as well as study hall gatherings that coaches may require student-athletes to attend as a team. 

“The expansion of study space represents a continuation of the collaboration between all the services that support student academic success,” said Britt Anne Murphy, director of Bailey Library. “Bringing students to the library gives them immediate access to a host of peer learning opportunities that they otherwise might not show up to use. Sometimes this kind of encouragement to be in the academic space is all they need to boost academic performance.”

The public access computer area has gained a new printer, a device charging station, and four new computers to direct students to library resources. If students find themselves chilled while studying, blankets are available for check-out. “The goal is to make the library as inviting as possible so that students will feel comfortable and at ease as they tackle difficult and stressful tasks of studying, research, and writing,” Murphy said. “Proximity to experts who can assist students is also a goal, but if the space doesn’t draw them in, they won’t come.”

Another refreshed space is geared more toward comfort or fun: The juvenile section, previously a series of bookshelves in a corner of the second floor, has transformed into a cozy study zone with some reorganization of shelves and the addition of comfortable seating. A giant swivel chair invites leisurely reading or perhaps a short nap; colorful rugs and mid-century modern furniture jazz up the area; and a rocking chair offers the perfect place for relaxing with a favorite young adult title or children’s classic. Students may use the whiteboard creation table for doodling, or dive into a bin to construct a Lego masterpiece.

About Hendrix College

A private liberal arts college in Conway, Arkansas, Hendrix College consistently earns recognition as one of the country’s leading liberal arts institutions, and is featured in Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About Colleges. Its academic quality and rigor, innovation, and value have established Hendrix as a fixture in numerous college guides, lists, and rankings. Founded in 1876, Hendrix has been affiliated with the United Methodist Church since 1884. To learn more, visit