by Karl Gan, Lee Kong Chian School of Business
If you’re an SMU student worth your salt, you’ll be familiar with the one place that you can’t evade in all your years in this university. Where the staff is constantly friendly and fun, where the facilities are state-of-the-art, where there’s a song played over the speakers at 12am to urge students to go home and have a life – or at least to get some sleep.
The SMU library has been serving the SMU population since time immemorial since 2005, and recently had a swanky new upgrade to serve students better. As such, you may have noticed that things around the library look different and shinier. But what, exactly, has changed?
I took a tour of the revitalised Li Ka Shing Library with Devi from the SMU library team, and got a first-hand look at six of the top additions and improvements.
1. Upsized Screens: See The Bigger Picture
No longer do you have to squint at a presentation slide on your groupmate’s puny laptop screen. These large screens at the study desks on Levels 2 and 3 can be connected to your own computer, so that everyone in your group can see clearly. Gone are the days of huddling around one small laptop screen and practicing with your head tilted at an awkward viewing angle – you can now see your presentation up close and personal. (You still have to keep your voices down, though!)
2. The Investment Studio: Money, Money, Money
This investment studio on Level 3 was created to provide a dedicated space for financial database terminals, such as Bloomberg. Meant for business and financial research, the terminals come with large screens for ease of reviewing endless rows of figures. The studio also features large tables for group work and a projection system called ShowMe, which allows groupmates to project their computer screens onto an even larger LCD screen with just a click of a button.
3. The Video Call Booths: Phone Home
Have you noticed those closet-like rooms in the middle of the new Learning Commons on Level 2? These are the Phone Booths, which you can use for students to conducting video chats and phone calls. These booths can be booked directly from Facilities Booking on Oasis. You can keep in touch with your friends on exchange, while our visiting exchange students can make use of this facility to make calls with family and friends back home.
4. The Link Bridge: Get a Little Bit Closer
If ever you have a library emergency and absolutely need to get in with minimum delays, here’s your solution. The library already boasts better entrance gantries a number of SMU’s buildings, but now, with the new linked entrance, the gantry queues to enter the library are gone forever. Come up the escalator, and instead of turning right into the library as you would normally do, turn left instead. Tap your matric card on the scanner outside the glass door, and voila – instant direct access into the Learning Commons!
5. Reflective Lounge: Keep Calm and Drink Tea
With our location right in the heart of the city, SMU is already blessed with scenic views that no other university in Singapore can boast. Our library directly overlooks the verdant Campus Green, the Singapore Art Museum and the National Museum. On any given afternoon, the view from inside the library is a picturesque scene of student life set against a backdrop of fine museum architecture. The Reflective Lounge is perfect for enjoying that view. You can now sit in the former printing room on Level 2 to enjoy the sunny city scenery while sipping a cool drink (no food!)… whilst you mug.
6. The Graduate Lounge: A Whole New Space
Until recently, postgraduate students only had The Postgraduate Suite on Level 5 of the library to call their own. It was so popular that the SMU library team converted another room on Level 5 into the Graduate Lounge. Now, postgraduate students have even more space in which to study, read, or hold discussions.
With all these wonderful new features, the SMU library has further proven its status as one of the most state-of-the-art campus libraries in Singapore. Come down to the library today, and experience these great new features for yourself!