The hottest places to study on campus

Lana Goldsmith and Steve Hardy
Scott Bressler

It’s reading week and everyone needs to study, so where do people go? It seems like everyone goes to Olin, making it full of distractions-if you can even find a seat. Most students at the University do not take advantage of the fact that Washington University is home to 16 libraries, each with its own unique collection of special materials, from the extensive sheet-music selection at Gaylord Hall to the miniature book collection currently on display in the Gingko Room at Olin. As finals approach, it is a great time to look into the resources these different libraries can offer you. The following are some of the most interesting places with exceptional collections.

Hopefully this will give you an idea of some of the more productive places to work on campus that are easily accessible. Good luck on finals and have a great summer!

Law Library

This library is a gorgeous place to work. From the top floor, you have more than a 180-degree view of campus and downtown Clayton. Best of all, it is well lit, quiet and technologically equipped. Nearly all of the tables are wired to give Internet access to students with laptop computers.

If you live on the North Side, this may be a closer studying option than Olin; just be careful not to let people know that you are an undergrad, because they may not appreciate you taking up their study space.

Gaylord Hall Music Library

Gaylord has everything from classical and baroque sheet music to Real Books. For those who are not down with the jargon, ‘The Real Book’ is a collection of jazz standards.

They also have an impressive collection of albums, particularly of jazz music. All of these are available for checkout, so this is a great place to pick up some new tunes to help you study.

As far as studying goes, it is not the best, though, mostly because it is small. All of the librarians and student helpers, however, are amiable and passionate about music.

East Asian Library

If you are looking for a quiet place with a nice atmosphere, the East Asian Library, located in January Hall, is the place to go. Several large chandeliers hang over the rows of heavy wooden desks. The second level of stacks is invisible from the main room, hidden away behind beautiful wooden arches.

The library itself is not very large, but there is plenty of room to spread out, and it is never crowded. For those interested in the ancient world, the Classics Department is housed in these stacks. Otherwise, nearly the entire collection housed there is in Korean, Chinese or Japanese.

Should you require assistance of any kind, the librarians are extremely friendly and respectful of the people studying there.

Special Collections and Archives – Olin

While students can’t really study in the Special Collections room, this collection may have resources that could help write a final paper or provide more background information for an exam. The librarians there specialize in dealing with special collections and can assist you with in-depth research.

The Special Collections section houses many first editions and primary sources that could be useful.

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