If you’ve been on campus in any capacity, then you’ve been to Sprague Library. It’s a small building on the outside, but once you wait for those slow-moving automatic doors to open and make your way inside, you are greeted with three floors of books, microfilm and a whole collection of multimedia.
Typically, when you think of libraries, you think of midterms and long study sessions with stacks upon stacks of papers to sort through and long hours of monotony to get the best grade possible.
Arguably, you’d think the library is the best place to study on campus. It’s quiet. It has air circulation, plenty of comfortable spaces to sit and focus, a lot of books and people who can help you find exactly what you’re looking for.
So for the sake of curiosity, I went to test this theory on a Friday afternoon, arguably the least popular time to visit the library. I started on the second floor as I found the first floor to be too daunting to start asking people why they prefer one spot over the other when it comes to studying.
The second floor was warm and relatively empty, but on my way I met Veronika Hammond, a senior philosophy major, who was pouring over her notes on her laptop when I walked over to her.
She usually sits in the hallway desks where not a lot of people are, but today when no one was around, she decided to go toward the tables in the middle of the library, facing Dickson Hall. The tables are normally full of people studying in groups and sharing snacks during study breaks.
“There are individual desks on the wall and you don’t have to look at people, but then there are sometimes other people [here] and that can be stressful,” Hammond said. “There aren’t people in the library now.”
She was right, 4 p.m. on a Friday is hardly a popular time to be on campus. Most students have already filed away to their cars and the shuttles and made their way back home for a restful weekend.
I continued walking around the library. It was quiet as ever. You could hear the shutter of the camera clicking as I wandered around the space, looking for people to chat with. The sun was streaming in through the windows facing Cole Hall, painting everything in a soft, buttery glow.
I headed down to the first floor again and made my way to the printing lab by the University College office.
That’s where I found Patrick Quigley, a senior business administration major with a concentration in marketing, and he thinks the library is the best place to study.
“I usually like going to the library if I have to get work done or study,” Quigley said. “It’s really quiet and everyone is pretty respectful and doing their own work and their own thing. I think it’s probably the best place to be when you’re studying or doing homework.”
To get a better perspective, I talked to Zach Abbruscato, a senior filmmaking major and one of the student librarians. Abbruscato started working at the library last spring and also prefers the study space by the windows.
“[The best place to study is] the library of course, I’m not just saying this as an advertisement for it, it’s just an easy place to study,” Abbruscato said. “It’s a very nice way to utilize space but it’s a very versatile place to study.”
Samiha Miah, a junior biology major, agreed.
“[My favorite place to study is] definitely [the library] and the cafe in the library, that’s where I usually go other than home,” Miah said.
With midterms approaching, it’s important to find the best place for yourself to study, and that just may be at Sprague Library.