American Univesity of Beirut

AUB Outdoors Committee supports expansion and renovation of Jafet Library’s Reference Reading Room

​​​Jafet Library’s Reference reading area has been expanded with a newly renovated room to accommodate 45 additional seats thanks to financial support from the 2016 AUB Outdoors Committee, who donated $50,000 to create much needed new study space for students at the Library.

The new study room is modern and well-lit, overlooking the sea view of the AUB campus. It is tailored to students’ daily needs in terms of bigger desk space, individual power outlets, and new furniture. It will help the Libraries go a step forward towards improving students’ experiences when using Library facilities.

President Khuri, Interim Provost Mohamed Harajli, VP Imad Baalbaki, Dean Nezameddin and many members of the AUB Outdoors Committee, Jafet staff members and special guests gathered in Jafet Library on the afternoon of November 28th to inaugurate the new study room.

Dr. Lokman Meho, Director of the University Libraries, addressed the attendees first, thanking the Outdoors Committee, the President, VP Baalbaki, Dean Nezameddin, the Physical Plant, and the Library team for their remarkable support and work. He highlighted the importance of this project in times when Library reading areas are packed with students, whose numbers at AUB have multiplied while the Library space stayed intact, saying that “we very much thank the 2016 Outdoor Committee for their thoughtfulness and for helping the Libraries provide better student services and partially address one of the most popular students’ Library needs, that is, increasing and enhancing student seating capacity in the Libraries.”

AUB President, Dr. Fadlo Khuri took the stage next and addressed the students saying “We’re tinkering with many things with the students, and eventually they will all work out to your advantage. I’m proud to say that so far we’ve kept our word to invest more resources- not just funds- but time in students-specific activities including the dorms, renovating the library and other major enterprises.”

About these projects, Dr. Khuri said “This is an investment. We believe you are the future leaders of the societies in Lebanon, the Arab world and beyond. . .You need some additional resources so that you leave here [AUB] more empowered than when you come here… This isn’t charity. This is an investment that will come good for decades to come.” He then congratulated the students on this unique accomplishment, referring to this as a permanent “compact between the university and the students”.

Dr. Talal Nezameddin, the Dean of Student Affairs, thanked the Outdoors Committee and its volunteers saying that “it is outstanding how many special and unique skills are involved in the outdoors: project management, team building skills, leadership skills as well as encountering and overcoming challenges before, during and after the event”. He spoke of how incredible it is for such a big group of people to work together under such difficult circumstances to raise such an enormous amount of money and then give back to their community.

The chairperson of the AUB 2016 Outdoors Committee, Riad El-Soufi, spoke of the committee’s commitment and motive behind funding this project saying that “this is a way for students to give back to AUB and namely to the students.” He spoke of the Outdoors Committee’s hard work and thanked Dean Nizameddin and VP Baalbaki, as well as the 600 volunteers who make the Outdoors happen, adding “we hope that this is only the beginning and that similar donations will be awarded to the AUB community by the Outdoors in the years to come”.

The attendees then cut the ribbon to officially inaugurate the new reading room and enjoyed some refreshments, as students passed by to see their new study area.

This project is especially distinctive for the Libraries because it is the first time a project gets funded and supported by students, for students . . .

About the AUB Outdoors

Outdoors is the largest student-run festival in the Middle East. The ambition and vision of the student committee which organizes it raise the bar year after year.

Outdoors has been in the business of “Creating memories since 1982”. It first started as a stage for on-campus talent and is now a well-established festival which hosts international acts (Maz Jobrani (2015), Kadebostany (2016)) and local and on-campus talent. Outdoors caters to every interest; the festival includes magicians, Parkour, gym classes, parades, and so much more in its lineup.

The repeated success of Outdoors wouldn’t be possible without the contribution of the students, whether they be dedicated members or clubs running their own food or game stands during the two-day festival. The committee is proud to give back to the community that has made Outdoors possible. We look forward to May 20-21, 2017. 

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