University becomes first in world to offer library lodging
When students start preparing for final exams in early May, they won't have to sacrifice precious study time to make the long journey back to their dorms in order to get a little shut-eye.
William & Mary's Earl Gregg Swem Library recently announced its partnership with the popular website Airbnb, an online marketplace for people to list, find and rent space. With more than 1,500,000 listings in 34,000 cities and 190 countries, Swem is the first university library in the world to offer lodging through the website.
"Airbnb is thrilled to partner with William & Mary to create this unique opportunity for their students," said Airbnb's spokesperson. "When the university approached us with the idea to offer rental space in their library we were skeptical, but after a lot of research and testimonials from students who have spent the night in the library in the past, we ultimately decided that W&M would be the perfect school to launch this new initiative."
Amid the castles, fantasy beach bungalows, ski gondolas, tree houses and urban apartments with vibrantly printed bedspreads featured on Airbnb's website, the governing aesthetic of Swem's lodgings is "Tribe Chic." The new rooms, which were outfitted to reflect the university's visual identity guidelines, feature "William & Mary Green" walls and throw pillows adorned with hand-stitched cyphers.
The library, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, stays open around the clock during finals. Because of Swem's new partnership with Airbnb, students will have the opportunity to reserve the comfortable new accommodations ahead of time.
In order to make space for the new lodgings, Swem's spokesperson said they converted three group study rooms into an oasis for anyone in need of a little break. Each room boasts outlets for recharging laptops and mobile devices, a mini fridge for snacks and beverages and two queen-size adjustable Sleep Number beds so each student can modify the bed to fit their needs. Each room will also include a state-of-the-art massage chair to help knead away the tension students develop in their shoulders and back during finals week.
"The new sleep space in Swem is a great idea and something that we really needed, especially during final exams," said one student. "I'm already planning my study schedule and making sure I know when I will need a bed reserved."
"Our students spend copious amounts of time studying for exams," said a spokesperson for Swem. "Some have been known to camp out in sleeping bags at the library during the height of finals. By becoming a host through Airbnb, we are now able to offer a convenient place for our students to rest."
Students can start reserving the rooms on April Fools' Day through the Airbnb website.