Back in the day, if you needed a nap between classes, you had to head back to your dorm or apartment, but the University of Maryland is providing an option for those who need a quick recharge between classes or while studying at the library. The University of Maryland, located in College Park, Maryland just outside of Washington, D.C. has installed sleeping pods or napping pods in the McKeldin Library for the convenience of students who live on campus and those who commute in order to boost personal productivity.
The local CBS affiliate said that the pods, at $22,000 a pop, were installed in the library to provide 20-minute naps for students who need to recharge while on the go. Each pod includes a reclining chair (think the seats in first class for an international flight), a privacy visor which can be moved and customize for your needs, speakers for music, and a 20-minute timer that triggers a “sunrise” feature to gradually wake you up.
Students are divided about whether the expense is justified, but nearly nobody disagrees about the benefits of a nap between classes. Graduate student Pranav Prabhu is torn between the cost and the need.
“When I’m studying late at night and I have to take a quick power nap, I can relax in these. But that’s really expensive, it’s not worth that.”
Opinion: "Dropping $22,000 on glorified chairs may not have seemed like the most prudent expenditure of university funds while, at the same time bus lines were being cut."https://t.co/BetdtK7zAY
— The Diamondback (@thedbk) September 13, 2018
Diamondback News, the on-campus paper, also seems skeptical about the giant white pods which resemble an enormous football helmet mounted on a lounge chair. The idea for the napping pods came through the Student Government Association (SGA) which proposed the pods as a way to combat “student fatigue.”
Freshman chemistry major, Chima Odoazu, gave one of the sleeping pods a test drive and said it helped him recharge and move on with his day.
“When the chair starts vibrating a little bit, it gets you in that relaxed state, and it was definitely hard to keep my eyes open.”
The pods were purchased with money from the Student Facilities Fund, which is reserved for purchases which benefit students and student life on campus.
You can now sleep in an egg-shaped napping pod for 20 minutes at McKeldin. https://t.co/Re3XAWGr9O
— The Diamondback (@thedbk) September 12, 2018
It’s unclear if this will cut down on snoring in the stacks but University Libraries spokesperson Eric Bartheld said that many people have been trying to find a solution to this problem for years.
“Students have come to us for years seeking solutions to this common problem of sleep deprivation and fatigue. They’ve brought proposals to us for all kinds of things: a sleep room with cots, to check out pillows, all kinds of answers — and this is one that seemed to make sense.”