Monday, June 14, 2010

Studying in the Library

For some of us, whether working alone or in a small group, it is easier to study in a common, communal space devoted to that purpose. The Library offers spaces for both solitary and group work, for silence and speaking, for focused attention and relaxed conversation. The space you encounter on entering the Library (level C--refer to this map throughout this posting), between the Circulation Desk and the Atrium (where the current periodicals are shelved) is a "noisy" space. Students can gather at the study tables and work together on assignments. A more enclosed space for group study is the Rose Room, on level E, just off the large reading room (called Pilling). Here, a fireplace (nonworking) and curved, wood bookshelves, set into the walls, add atmosphere. The trees hug the windows and the tops of the Corinthian columns, which flank the old (now unused) entrance to the library, visible outside, enhance the sense of height.

In addition, two sizable rooms, numbered 205 and 212, both on E level, are available for group study. These are locked and require you to sign in and obtain a key, at the Circulation Desk. They are available in 2-hour slots. Room 212, in the Rose Library, contains a DVD and VCR player. Room 205 (in the Learning Center) contains just a DVD player. Room 205 was the former office of the theological librarian. Spirits of past theological librarians may hover there, but they are friendly.

For quiet study in a large, common space, choose the Pilling Room, on Level E along the north side of the Library. The windows here face out on Drew's "front lawn," more an arboretum, really. The tall ceiling lends grandeur to the space; dissertations lining the walls, pictures of cathdedrals, and busts of eminent writers all contribute a scholarly air.

Carrels are spaced throughout the library for individual, quiet study. In addition, 2 all-day carrels are available, in the Baldwin Room (level E, northeast corner). You just sign in at the Circulation Desk and pick up a key. Consult the policy on group study spaces.

The entire library is wireless, and many study spaces have outlets, in addition, to plug in your computer. A few spaces also offer cable connection to the Internet--the study tables in the Microform Reading Room (level C, northeast corner), and the carrels on Level E, in the Learning Center, that border the Atrium. You can borrow a cable at the Reference Desk.

For plush, living-room chairs, go to the Atrium and enjoy the natural light from above. Or, if you like sitting at a picture window, find 2 comfy chairs in the philosophy section of Level E, behind the stacks labeled 181.4 D, and facing out on the open lawn behind Mead Hall. Squirrels climb the trees and birds hang upside down on the eaves. Perfect for birdwatching.

Though the Library does not (yet) have a cafe, a soda machine is available on level C in the far northwest corner of the Learning Center (where you see the phone on this map). The entry space of the library, with garden chairs and tables, is set aside for eating, chatting, and visiting, but many students also like to study there.

As you explore the study spaces in the Library, take time to notice the art: older pieces and reproductions in the Rose Library; newer pieces in the Learning Center. Lutherans will enjoy the print, hanging in the Baldwin Room, of Luther burning the pope's Bull of excommunication.
For a meditation on the Rose Window, which is overhead as you enter the Library, see an article in the Library's newsletter, Visions.

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