With an untraditional fall semester ahead, it’s unclear exactly what’s going to happen with libraries and popular study spots around campus. But if they are open, here are the best places to grind out a paper or try to pay attention in Zoom class.
- Davis Library: Eight floors, dozens of private study rooms and somehow never a place to sit. This is the biggest and probably the most popular library on campus. What Davis lacks in physical attractiveness, it makes up for in versatility. Want to eat lunch and talk with your friends while “studying” for your test? Great, that’s what most people do on the first floor anyways. Want to buckle down and do some serious work for a project due at midnight? Book a private study room, or better yet, go ahead and take a private study room that no one’s in. You probably won’t get kicked out, but be warned that if you do, it is very awkward (be prepared to wildly shove your study spread into your backpack as the reservation-holder gives you the death glare from the other side of the door). Pro tip: the best chairs are on the eighth floor. They’re super comfy and have a built in desk PLUS a leg rest. They’re almost always taken though, so good luck!
- The Undergraduate Library: The UL actually looks like a library on the inside. It’s dim, mysterious and deathly quiet. It’s much smaller than Davis, but you can usually find a place to sit in the single-person desks in the basement. There are some good, large rooms for group projects, but they fill up quickly, so book in advance. The UL isn’t as popular as Davis, but it does have some hardcore loyalists who this writer will never understand.
- Wilson Library: It’s absolutely beautiful, but no. Wilson is far too regal and sophisticated to desecrate with your hastily-written discussion post before class starts. Also, the security guards will yell at you if you even think about opening a study snack or drinking anything other than water. Great for taking pictures, though!
- Epilogue: Sometimes you get a little tired of hunkering down in a fluorescent-lit library with only vending machine coffee to keep you going. If you want to get off campus, Epilogue on Franklin Street does not disappoint. This cafe/bookstore serves authentic Mexican churros and drinking chocolate, along with your standard-fare coffee, but with unique flavors like lavender sea salt and orange peppercorn. There’s plenty of seating, but it’s almost always full, and with social distancing measures in place, you might wanna wait outside 'til a seat opens up.
- Graham Memorial Student Lounge: I always think it’s pretentious when people refer to things as “hidden gems,” especially when the thing in question is a big lounge that no one is pretending to hide. But! This really is a hidden gem. This lounge will make you feel like you’re at an Ivy League invite-only dinner party — and you don’t even have to get your rich parents to buy a building to get in! The whole lounge is covered in beautiful, dark wood and filled with elegant furniture. It’s mostly couches and chairs, so probably not great for math homework — but a place like this is probably only appreciated by humanities majors anyway. This lounge is gorgeous, relaxing AND almost always closed for some reason. So, make sure you don’t make the trek all the way up to the tippy-top of North Campus if you don’t know for sure the University isn’t using the lounge for a photo shoot.