For at least one more season of final exams, students pulling all-nighters in the library will have to catch their power naps curled up in armchairs or sprawled on couches.
McKeldin Library requested — and received — funding for two pilot napping pods this semester. Although the goal was to install these pods by finals week, University Libraries spokesperson Eric Bartheld said they've hit an unexpected snag in ordering.
Bartheld said the Student Facilities Fund provided the money requested for the pods by the library. When it came time to make the purchase, however, they discovered $3,000 in unexpected warranty fees. MetroNaps, the company from which the library intends to order the napping pods, has no prices listed on its website; customers have to contact them for a quote.
"All it's done is slow down the process," Bartheld said. "We're still going to order, they're going to be installed, it's just disappointing that it didn't all happen before finals."
Bartheld said the library found $3,000 in its budget and plans on ordering the pods, "any day." While he couldn't pinpoint exactly when the new pods would be coming to the library, he said he could "guarantee" it would be before the beginning of next semester.
He said the napping pods will come in this summer, while the library walls are being repainted and some of the carpet and furniture replaced.
"It coincides nicely with a kind of ongoing renovation project of the first floor that will be occurring over the summer," Bartheld explained. "These napping pods will be part of a new first-floor experience."
At the beginning of the semester, Bartheld said it was still being decided where the pods could be installed to ensure the right balance of privacy for sleeping, as well as visibility for accountability and safety. Now, he said the pods are slated to be installed in the room adjacent to Footnotes Café.
"It's in a visible area that's well attended, but also a little bit out of the way," Bartheld said.
Liz Patterson, a junior English and history major who works in the library as a late-night student assistant, agreed that this room would be a good place for the pods.
"Out of all the different areas in McKeldin, that would probably be a pretty nice space, just because it's usually open to people," Patterson said.
She said even though she worked late hours – sometimes from 11 p.m. to 2 a.m. or 2 a.m. to 5 a.m. – she didn't see many people falling asleep on their books from her vantage point behind the desk.
"I think that they could be helpful. I'm always open to libraries offering more services," Patterson said, "but I'm also a little bit ambivalent on it."
Jeff Mason, a senior economics major, said he read about the napping pods earlier this semester, but didn't feel like the delay in their installation would impact his study practices for final exams. He said he would have been more excited about the pods if they were being installed on a larger scale.
"It's not something I would use," Mason said. "It doesn't sound like there's going to be really that many available."