A ribbon-cutting ceremony commemorated the opening of a new room in the Marriott Library meant to help student parents balance home life with school life.
The Family Reading Room has been in production for over a year. The room has a big playroom equipped with toys, books and a television to entertain children of U students while their parents study.
The room is an open space for children to play, and there are no supervisors, pre-school teachers or nannies to babysit. Parents are responsible for their children at all times while using the room.
Ian Godfrey, head of Facilities and Collection Management, said the room was made to meet the needs of all students who may use it.
“We wanted a reading, studying and productive space for all walks of life,” Godfrey said.
Almost 25 percent of U students have children, Godfrey added.
This room was originally intended to be an office space for faculty members, but it was decided that the room should instead be used to help students with kids. It includes a lactation room for nursing moms to promote comfort and privacy.
Facilities Management used research from other universities around Utah to better accomodate students who might use this room.
Research showed that, in the past, accomodations for student parents helped them finish school and concentrate more on schoolwork while being assured their kids were in proper care.
Adriana Parker, associate librarian for education services, said helping students have time for their academic work is a main goal of the room.
“We hope that it will help retention and graduation rates by making it possible for students and faculty members to do their research,” Parker said.
Andrew Christensen, a student in physical therapy, said he has kids and plans to use the room.
“I can spend more time with my kids,” Christensen said, “[And it’s] a chance to spend quality time with my family.”