Skip to Main Content
Ask A Librarian

Student Lounge: by students, for students

2nd floor, Downtown Library

Student Lounge: by students, for students

2nd floor Downtown Library

principles, values, and practices


To create a sense of belonging for WVU students


Providing a nurturing, student-centered multi-use space and programming for self expression, self-care, and resources for mental health with support from the Women of WVU development fund, while including students in their mission to create a collective voice and give back


A student lounge serving as a sanctuary in the WVU Downtown Library


The WVU Libraries’ work is dedicated to supporting WVU’s mission to create a diverse and inclusive culture that advances education, healthcare and prosperity for all


We are committed to the core values of WVU


We give our best to be responsive and effective
  • responsible stewardship of resources
  • self awareness
  • self-care and caring for others
  • dismantling bias
Feminist evaluation
  • emphasize that an evaluator needs to be reflexive and open, and recognize overtly that evaluations are not value free
  • when collecting data, value different ways of knowing, seek to hear and represent different voices and provides a space for women or disempowered groups within the same contexts to be heard
  • apply universal design to provide access for all
  • physically, remote, asynchronous
  • pay it forward
    • the beneficiary of a good deed repays the kindness to others instead of to the original benefactor
    • repay kindness by doing a good deed for someone else
    • this can help others to keep spreading kindness to even more people



We ask questions
  • What do the students think, feel, say, make, and share?

  • showcase creative and academic student work
  • make the space available for student organization events
  • offer to collaborate and support student-group workshops
  • center students and student voices
  • offer resources and instructions for making
  • question power structures that
    • frame curiosity as deviant
    • prevent students from asking questions
When something triggers anger or other strong emotions
  • lean in to it
  • learn more about it at the library
  • discover constructive ways to get involved


We are respectful, transparent, and inclusive with one another
Sharing and distributing power
Responsible, fair, and transparent use of power
Leadership is responsible for
  • project management
  • transparency
  • communication
  • documentation
Radical Inclusion
  • empowering all from the beginning of the process
  • empowerment of all as a goal in every process


We seek opportunities to serve
  • valuing generosity above austerity
  • devotion to acts of gift giving
  • the value of a gift is unconditional
  • gifting does not contemplate a return or an exchange for something of equal value
  • we support and value each other's contributions
  • value creative cooperation and collaboration
  • strive to produce, promote, model, and protect a space, works of art, and methods of communication that support cooperative and collaborative interaction

generative giving and appreciation

Generative giving and appreciation

The generosity of the Women of WVU inspires many to join in their mission
to create a collective voice and give back

With gratitude for all the contributions and support, below are a few examples

  • Dennis Smith, Associate Dean of Libraries and Librarian Jessica Dai gave several large plants for décor
  • Travis Stimeling, WVU Music Professor loaned us the Appalachians of Note display
  • Courtney Weaver, WELLWVU Director provided items for the self-care buffet including condoms, dental dams, and calming strips
  • Erin Brock Carlson, WVU English Professor brought Wikipedia water bottles, stickers, hats, and socks for the self-care buffet
    • Professor Carlson also incorporated the event into her course accounting for the turnout
  • Sally Jane Brown, feminist artist, writer, and curator lent us the photographic display Portraits of West Virginia Women
  • Hilary Fredette, Director of Operations and Resource Sharing at the WVU Libraries, used her sewing skills to custom alter blue filtering cloths used to soften the fluorescent lights, moved old furniture and arranged for the modular setting and tables we have from the space that is now the Sensory Room
  • Sam Rahall, Reserves and Stacks Maintenance Associate generously provided on-demand logistical support
  • Keeley Wildman, (MSW 2023) Graduate Assistant took a leadership role as Lounge manager and physically made much of transformation seen in the before and after photos happen (and took the photos)
  • The West Virginia and Regional History Center contributed access to rare archives enabling us to create online and physical displays. Many thanks to Lori Hostuttler, Director; Elizabeth James, Digital Archivist, Jane Metters LaBarbara, Head of Archives and Manuscripts, and Lemley Mullet, Photographs Manager 
  • Lucas Blankenship, (MPA 2023) Graduate Assistant constructed display panels, hung posters, installed art, and arranged furniture
  • Thea Browne, Sr. Administrative Assistant managed catering, extra tables, guest parking, a meeting about security, and inventory ordering and receiving
  • Library IT Department Library LITEs provided a tech support table for the Amplifying Appalachia event
  • Special thanks to 
    • Tara McMillen, Strategic Business Advisor and Business Planning Officer, for managing funding expenditures and reporting
    • Jeff Werst, Science Librarian, Jonah McAllister-Erickson, Scholarly Communication Librarian, and Terra Rogerson, Agricultural Science Librarian, for volunteering at the Wikipedia Edit-a-thon, the first event at the venue

For early institutional support and believing in the idea, enabling us to secure the funds to make it real we are grateful for the support of

  • G. Corey Farris, Dean of Students
  • Lisa DeFrank-Cole, Director and Professor, WVU Leadership Studies Program
  • Karen Diaz, Dean, University Libraries

The Women of WVU (WoW) enabled us to achieve our goals By believing in us and our vision, the Women of WVU inspired those around us to contribute. With long-term and new relationships, the resources multiplied.

With the WoW funds and donations from multiple partners, we created a self-care buffet at the Lounge soft-opening event on March 30, a 4-hour Art+Feminism Amplifying Appalachia Wikipedia Edit-a-thon in-person meet-up to improve representation of women and other underrepresented groups in the encyclopedia.

The funds also matched library support to provide refreshments for the 35 students attending and volunteering. The funds helped us decorate with soft blue lighting, display panels to highlight women in the archives, particularly WVU students protesting for improved security on campus, against war and the draft, and for civil rights. Archival display cases will be installed to feature content related to Lounge displays.

For before and after photos see the Lounge Story slide show (best viewed on desk or laptop).