Payson closure hits students with tidal wave of panic: Where will they study?

Junior business administration major Kiana Scott enjoys reading in Payson. (Photo by Scout Easley)

Pepperdine students accustomed to spending endless hours in Payson Library are anxious and panicking about where they will study when Payson closes its doors in May for a 15-month reconstruction.

Returning students said their main concern about the library shutdown is finding ideal study locations close to Malibu. As library officials create alternative study locations on campus, students are looking outside Pepperdine to Calabasas, Santa Monica and Venice.

“A lot of students come into the library and ask what’s going to happen next year,” said Library Ambassador Vanessa Wang, a junior integrated marketing communication major. “I don’t blame students for being concerned because the school hasn’t released definitive answers as to what’s going to happen once construction begins.”

Students said they are concerned Pepperdine is taking away main resources on campus.

“The closure is going to take away the main place I go to study and get work done,” junior finance major Christopher Rodgers said. “I think it’s good that the school’s expanding, however, I think it possibly could be done in a better way.”

Students who depend on computers and software located within Payson said they fear the loss will negatively impact them.

“As a public relations and advertising double major, I rely heavily on Payson for the Adobe Creative Suite,” said Melissa Mallari, a sophomore public relations and advertising double major. “There’s going to be extra congestion with all the computers closed and it’s going to be harder to get projects done.”

Students fear Malibu does not offer locations quiet enough for studying purposes.

“Malibu is so isolated, there aren’t many places to study outside of school,” Kiana Scott, a junior business administration major, said. “I don’t know how I’m going to find somewhere I can be productive.”

Freshman new to campus say the closure will directly impact them.

“Since I get distracted so easily, the closure is going to impact where and how I will conduct my research and study for exams,” Juan Marco Torres, a freshman business administration major, said.

On-campus study locations

Payson Library is setting up two temporary study locations for student use during the 15-month closure.

Since study space will be at a premium, Jeanette Woodburn, director for library advancement and public affairs, said the Thornton Academic Center and Dresher Library will be reconfigured to allow for more study space.

“We are planning to move everything somewhere,” Woodburn said. “Since we’re moving a fair amount of our collection off-site to Calabasas, we will open up a hub in Thornton Academic Center that will contain the base of where students can check out books.”

Students can gain access to reference librarians, course reserves, printing, computers and software within Thornton.

“Technology is something we know students use pretty heavily,” Woodburn said. “There’s going to be essentially a mini Academic Center for Excellence equipped with all the computers and software components we know are important.”

In addition to Thornton, Pepperdine is reconfiguring Dresher Library to optimize study space for students.

Woodburn said campus construction and planning is working on additional ways to accommodate students during the closure of Payson by allowing students to reserve classroom space between class periods.

“Things will be much more dispersed than they are with the Payson space,” Woodburn said. “However, there will still be space available on campus.”

Off-campus study spots

Almond latte at Intelligentsia Coffee. (Photo by Scout Easley)

To those nervous about the upcoming changes, there are various off-campus locations suitable for studying. Below are alternative options located in Calabasas and Venice to visit once Payson closes.

  1. 10-Speed Coffee:
10-Speed Coffee in Calabasas, California. (Photo by Scout Easley)

Located in the heart of Old Town Calabasas, this cafe is unique as it serves delicious maple lattes and house-made brews.

Ansley Rathgeber, a freshman accounting and economics double major, said she enjoys a nice cup of specialty coffee while studying.

“I like studying where there’s coffee because coffee helps me focus,” Rathgeber said.

Seating is offered both inside the cozy cabin inspired café and outdoors overlooking a small creek. There are lovely wood tables large enough to sprawl out with your books and papers. Pricing begins at $3 for espresso and increases to $4.75 for specialty-flavored lattes. 10-Speed Coffee also offers access to complimentary Wi-Fi.

2. Corner Bakery Cafe:

Corner Bakery in Calabasas, California. (Photo by Scout Easley)

Located in the Calabasas Commons, this neighborhood bakery caters to students looking to study in a friendly, relaxing environment.

“I visit Corner Bakery at least once a week to study,” Ashleigh Salous, a junior integrated marketing communication major, said. “I love the jazz music they play and the snacks definitely help.”

This is generally a quiet space in Calabasas, though students may get distracted around peak lunch and dinner hours. The café offers breakfast, lunch and dinner items along with pastries baked fresh each day. Breakfast scramblers start at $6.99 and grilled paninis are priced at $7.69. Corner Bakery offers access to free Wi-Fi.

3. Barnes and Noble:

Barnes and Noble in Calabasas, California. (Photo by Scout Easley)

Also located in the Calabasas Commons is Barnes and Noble, a resourceful bookstore that doubles as a cafe.

“When I study off campus, I go to Barnes and Noble,” Wang said. “I can sit there for a couple of hours and order food, it’s really nice.”

This large bookstore comes equipped with cushioned seating, Starbucks and free Wi-Fi. Freshly brewed coffee is priced at 1.85 and caffe lattes are priced at $3.65.

4. Intelligentsia Coffee:

Intelligentsia Coffee in Venice, California. (Photo by Scout Easley)
Intelligentsia Coffee in Venice, California. (Photo by Scout Easley)

Intelligentsia Coffee, located on Abbot Kinney in Venice,  offers a study space for coffee connoisseurs.

Hunter Peters, a junior public relations major, said he prefers to travel outside Malibu because it helps him focus on his schoolwork.

“There’s an advantage of studying far away from campus and it’s that you’re not likely to run into someone you know,” Peters said. “Therefore, you’re not going to have as many distractions.”

Intelligentsia offers many modern tables built specifically for those looking to complete business. Intelligentsia offers specialty espresso priced at $3 as well as specialty cappuccinos priced at $7. Intelligentsia also has freshly baked pastry items and complimentary Wi-Fi.

5. Primo Passo Coffee Co:

Primo Passo Coffee in Santa Monica, California. (Photo by Scout Easley)

Primo Passo Coffee Co., located on Montana Avenue in Santa Monica, serves up fresh, organic coffee brewed daily in-house. The cool, minimalist yet upscale café caters to students who enjoy studying in a group setting.

Primo Passo is flooded with clean natural light. Students have plenty of room to spread out work for group projects on the large, farm-style table. Primo Passo also offers additional individual tables indoors and covered seating outdoors.

“I need enough space to get a decent size group of people together,” freshman biology major Austin Fagerberg said. “Also, a relatively quiet area is good for my studies.”

Pricing at Primo Passo begins at $3 for espresso and increases to $5 for specialty café mochas. Primo Passo offers validated parking and complimentary Wi-Fi for all customers.

Study space to come

The eagerly awaited debut of the functional and user-friendly Payson Library is scheduled for fall 2017.

Plans include an inviting floor plan comprised of upgraded study rooms, a new special collections wing, and a math and science teaching lab.

“We are very excited about the new building,” Woodburn said. “The building is being adjusted so that it’s much more functional and user friendly.”

Payson was originally built in 1972 when technology was not as significant as today.

“If you think about some of the changes that have happened with the way people study, computers and devices are much more prevalent,” Woodburn said. “Study rooms will be added to accommodate the digital collaborative work going on.”

Once construction is complete, Woodburn said students will be able to enjoy the cosmetically upgraded oceanside study rooms, fireplaces and new coffee shop.

“We’re focusing on making sure that it’s a comfortable and inviting space,” Woodburn said. “There will be more of an open feel to the new beautiful space.”

How to voice concern

Pepperdine staff wants students to know their voices are heard.

“I will always help students through anything,” Andrea Harris, senior director of Student Administrative Services, said. “We will help students on a case-by-case basis, and ensure that they have access to whatever information and resources they need.”

Pepperdine staff members want students to know they are available for assistance through the time of transition.

“We’re trying to think of everything we can now so we’re ready for anything,” Woodburn said. “If something is missing, students absolutely should reach out to a librarian or to myself just to let us know ‘hey this part isn’t working.’ ”

Scout Easley completed this story in Dr. Christina Littlefield’s spring 2016 Jour 241 class.