CSSSI renovation adds study space on Science Hill

Study area, featuring couches and a wide-screen monitor
The architects of the new study space focused on carving out various types of spaces for different purposes. (Photo by Kari Swanson)

The opening of the new residential colleges this fall, and the corresponding influx of 761 undergraduates to a new area of campus, created a need for additional study space on nearby Science Hill.

A recent renovation at Yale’s Center for Science and Social Science Information (CSSSI), located in the Kline Biology Tower, has provided students and scholars a serene spot to read, think, and complete their work, as well as some new facilities to support their research.

The new study lounge is located in the library’s lower level. The 60-seat space offers a variety of seating, including soft chairs, clusters of carrels, and tables in an arrangement that reflects the library’s popular concourse-level study area.

The architects focused on carving out various types of spaces for different purposes, said Melanie Maksin, the CSSSI’s director of research support and outreach programs. A cozy nook near the entrance provides a place to relax while a bank of carrels is perfect for individual study, she said.

The new space has attracted a steady stream of studiers since it opened in late September, Maksin said.

This year marks five years since CSSSI opened and the renovation gave us the chance to add some facilities and amenities that we weren’t able to include the first time around,” she said. “The research we support is continually evolving, as is the campus around us, and this project helps us to continue to support the research needs of Yale students and faculty.”

In addition to the study space, a seminar room was added to provide space for workshops on research strategies, citation management, resources for entrepreneurship, and other topics. A new audio-visual studio provides the means to create videos, online tutorials, and other digital endeavors.

A map consultation room facilitates the use of the library’s collection of 20th- and 21st-century maps, which were recently transferred to CSSSI from Sterling Memorial Library.  The map room is equipped with a scanner that allows researchers to capture the data on a paper map and conduct geospatial analysis. CSSSI has a geographic information system (GIS) librarian on staff to support research involving GIS-related tools. 

The renovation also added a water-bottle filling station — a sustainability initiative that students had requested, Maksin said.

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