What’s going on in the Library Wellbeing Area? – Connector Programme

Exciting changes are happening! 

The Library Wellbeing Area is currently under redevelopment with the help of four Student Connectors, Katie, Elena, Mariola and Chloe. 

A seating area, display of Wellbeing and Leisure Reading books, and Listening area at The Wellbeing Area in Sussex Library.

Established two years ago, the Wellbeing Area has been a great addition to the library and additionally has underpinned the universities commitment to the holistic health and wellbeing of its student body.  

The Wellbeing Area comprises two main collections, Leisure Reading and Wellbeing Reading, with the bonus of over 100 audiobooks available free for students to access online from anywhere via the Libby app. Student Connectors have recently begun working in collaboration with library management and staff to improve the space and ensure it is accessible for all students, including those with additional learning support needs. 

So far, the Student Connectors have added over 90 new neurodiversity, disability, and mental health-inclusive titles to the Wellbeing Reading Collection, a much-needed and beneficial addition to the area’s growing collection. Further work is underway to expand the Leisure Reading Collection, with opportunities for students to get involved and suggest their favourite books to be included in the planned collection.  

In April, Connectors organized a Window Painting Project in collaboration with the Art Society. The project aimed to engage students in a calming activity for an evening, improve the visibility of the space, and display students’ artwork. We hope that this will become a regular addition to the Wellbeing Area.  

A person drawing on a glass window

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Student artists draws a painting on one of the glass windows of The Wellbeing Area.
A window with colorful flowers and leaves drawn on it

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A finished painting of colourful plants and flowers on the glass window of The Wellbeing Area.

One plan for the Student Connector Project is redesigning the current area and exciting proposals are currently being submitted for the Wellbeing Area space.

In the meantime, the connectors are implementing more positive improvements to the space, such as discussing with the buildings team the need for and importance of lower lighting for neurodivergent students and reorganising the shelving within the space to ensure easier access for wheelchair users.  

In addition to these changes, connectors have been working hard to increase the visibility of the area to students both in person and online by creating reels for the library’s Instagram. More events are also in the works to increase engagement, such as disability awareness sessions for staff and students and the MindBody Study Group, which will aim to create an inclusive and quiet environment for students with mental and physical conditions to read, relax and study. In the meantime, however you can look out for the Mobile Library service popping up around campus with connectors at other university events, where you will have the opportunity to borrow Wellbeing/Leisure books direct from the stall. 

We are so excited to see the changes Student Connectors are planning! You can follow the project on the @sussexlibrary Instagram and look out for future blog posts.  

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