236396By Natalie Saleh

Baylor graduate students are constantly challenging ideas, making discoveries, and conducting groundbreaking research. This academic excellence inspired library staff to launch The Incubator, the new library space for graduate students and faculty.

Library personnel came up with the name the Incubator, because it is a space full of new ideas and possibilities.

“My ideal would be if it fostered not only interactions between faculty and graduate students but that it might foster some interdisciplinary connections,”explains Jeff Steely, Associate Dean of the Libraries.

The Incubator is a pilot program open to graduate students from every department, which they can use for quiet study or as a meeting space. The idea for The Incubator came about when the libraries did some restructuring which left The Incubator space available. Currently, library staff is seeking feedback and monitoring The Incubator’s use to determine even more ways to support graduate students in the future.

“We would really like to have a conversation about what services are needed and what the libraries might be doing to support graduate students beyond just the space,”says Mr. Steely.

The Incubator is off to a great start, and the library staff has received encouraging feedback from students. Many graduate students are appreciative to have a space of their own, where they aren’t interrupted by lots of people coming in and out.

The Incubator also houses many great resources for graduate students. For example, the Graduate Writing Center is housed in The Incubator. The library staff has also provided a Mac Pro with extra software and programs not found on other campus computers.

As graduate students have begun spending more time in The Incubator, a sense of community has developed.

“You all end up supporting each other, and I’ve gotten to meet people through The Incubator. You see each other there all the time, and you end up introducing yourself and trying to encourage each other,” says graduate student, Elise Leal.

In addition to being a great study space, The Incubator can be reserved as an event space. The Graduate Student Association, for example, has reserved the space for its three-minute thesis contest. Because of The Incubator’s size, it will be easier for the GSA to host a big crowd at this fun event.

“It’s still in its formative stages so there’s so many possibilities that could end up making it even more unique,” says Elise.

Though the space is on a trial basis, the library staff is devoted to making sure that the needs of graduate students are met, whether through The Incubator or another graduate space in the future.

To learn more about The Incubaor, reserve a room, or leave feedback, click here.