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An exciting new pilot service which matches student study preferences with spaces across the University was launched this week. The idea for the new Spacefinder website arose from research into study practice conducted by the University Library which revealed that students are often unable to find suitable study environments and can be bewildered by the number of options open to them. Whether a person wants to work alone or in a group, silently or with background noise, in a modern or historic library, Spacefinder will show them matching spaces nearby.

However, the service is not only limited to libraries – the research revealed that students enjoy a wider study landscape and that many prefer to work outside of libraries in coffee shops or common areas.  This is why Spacefinder helps students locate these spaces too, thereby supporting students whatever their particular needs.

The service can be searched by study preferences, keyword or by navigating a map of Cambridge. Images of the spaces help the searcher decide whether the space is for them, as does information on the facilities they can expect to find there, such as WiFi, phone signal, large desks, catering facilities and natural daylight.

Spacefinder is part of the University Library’s Futurelib programme which seeks to deliver innovative new services across Cambridge University libraries. Project Manager Andy Priestner commented: ‘It’s exciting to see the fruits of our labours in the form of Spacefinder and I’m very grateful to all the librarians who contributed space information and helped make this service a reality.’

Spacefinder will be promoted to students at the Freshers’ Fair, library inductions and via social media and there are high hopes that the pilot service proves to be a valuable part of the Cambridge student experience.

Spacefinder can be accessed at: spacefinder.lib.cam.ac.uk