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I was hesitant to write this blog post — part of me is certain you’ve already found your favourite places to study, and the other part didn’t want to share my favourites because they’re top secret. But with final exams slowly approaching, I figured I may as well share some of my library wisdom with all of you. So, without further ado, here are my top three favourite places to study on campus (in no particular order):
So the secret is out: I love Rutherford Library. It’s my second home. I’m partially biased because it’s second nature for me to write multiple research papers in a semester, but I can honestly say I feel privileged to have access to the second largest research library in Canada!
There are many different places for you to study in Rutherford North or South. If you prefer working at a table in a more open environment, maybe the Study Hall and Reading Room on the 2nd floor in Rutherford South (also known as the “Harry Potter Room”) is the place for you. Or if you’re able to focus better in smaller areas, then check out the cubicles in Rutherford North.
Even though it’s not necessarily a typical study spot, I do recommend that you go to the Bruce Peel Special Collections Library located on the lower level of Rutherford South. In my first year at the University of Alberta I didn’t know much about it. It wasn’t until last year that I actually checked it out. One of the highlights for me was being able to see and touch the first edition of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. And that’s just one of the 100,000 rare books the collection houses.
Why I love it
You’ll probably find me in Rutherford North on the fourth floor in a cubicle (especially between classes) because I don’t need a lot of room, there’s plug-ins and I have easy access to any sources that I may require for a paper. It’s also close to HUB for when I’m feeling hungry.
I feel privileged to have access to the second largest research library in Canada.
Although there’s several other tables and cubicles in Rutherford North, I find myself going back to the same cubicles on the fourth floor. It might be because I know I’ve written successful papers in that very spot (if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, right?), but I’m starting to think I have a minor attachment to the space. Like I said, it’s my second home; all I need is a pillow and a blanket and I’m good to go!
John W. Scott Health Sciences Library
There’s three floors, each differing in levels of quietness. The lowest level isn’t the silent floor, but most people tend to migrate there because it is the largest study space with a variety of tables, cubicles (with lights and plug-ins!) and computers.
Why I love it
When a friend introduced me to the library, my first thought was “Wow, my backpack is way too heavy for me to be lugging it this far on a regular basis,” but the more I committed to the trek, the more rewarding the library became.
They’ll be times when I’ll forget how late it is because the light in my cubicle keeps the illusion alive that there’s still sunlight outside. It’s not until the announcement, “THE LIBRARY WILL BE CLOSING IN FIFTEEN MINUTES,” snaps me out of my study trance that I realize maybe it’s time to
pack up and go to bed.
I’d like to go to Med Sci on my last day at the U of A so I can hear that deafening announcement one last time. What better way to end my undergrad career than to be notified that in 15 minutes I will be kicked out of the building? How’s that for closure?
Edmonton Clinic Health Academy (ECHA)
Like Med Sci, this building is probably a far trek from your classes, but I promise it’s worth it.
On the lower level there’s a Quiet Study Hall that’s not as big as some of the other libraries, but it’s a neat little space filled with bright colours and cool artwork. There’s tables and booths (and some comfy couches). If you’re looking for something more private, there are also seminar rooms available.
Why I love it
I like the atmosphere! The bright colours really make studying more enjoyable (or as enjoyable as it can be). Typically I’ll use the seminar rooms on weekends when I’m with a group of people. Plus the Starbucks on the first floor is perfect for when you need a coffee fix.
This is the place for me during finals. I usually set my alarm for 6:30 am, and by 7:00 or 7:30 am, I’m searching the halls for a seminar room, and my friend will be arriving with breakfast and coffees to fuel us for a long day of studying. Okay, so there may have been a few tears shed in those rooms (I feared that I’d fail my Logic final . . . which I didn’t), garbages overflowing with Earls to-go boxes and Starbucks cups (I spent how much?!), and many late nights (does the LRT even run at this hour?), but I keep coming back because I know it’s a spot where I can be productive. Maybe I’ll even come back once I’m finished my undergrad degree — if not for the ghosts of finals past, then for the best coffee on campus.
I hope I’ve provided you with some insight into my favourite study spots and maybe even inspired you to try them out at some point throughout the semester!
Good luck to everyone in your remaining midterms and upcoming final exams!