July 19, 2009

Where Will You Study?

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Cornell is home to over 20 — count ’em — 20 University libraries. With so many to choose from, where you decide to study just depends on what you’re looking for. Each study area at Cornell has a personality of its own.
Uris Library has been dubbed “Club Uris” by students who see the humor in the fact that, on any given Sunday through Tuesday night, the Cocktail Lounge is the place to be.
Connected to the clock tower, Uris Library is the primary undergraduate library at Cornell. There are many copies of books on reserve, as well as carrels and places to study. Uris Library is open 24 hours a day, Sunday through Thursday. That’s right, students can make their party rounds and then get right back to Club Uris for after-hours studying. Hey, with 24-hour access, who needs to pay rent? Just bring a sleeping bag!
Olin and Kroch
For those looking for more of a lounge than a club, Olin Library may become your library of choice. Although not in use all hours of the night like its neighbor Uris, Olin still keeps its doors open until an impressive 2 a.m. Olin has other draws as well. It is Cornell’s central research library, complete with its own periodical room. The Libe Café on the main level is home to the Iced Skim Sugar-Free Vanilla Latte (dubbed The Long Island by the Cafés’ employees) and the best chocolate brownies this side of the Finger Lakes.
The decor in Olin is also newer and more comfortable than at Uris. But here’s a tip: Get there early. On a Saturday morning one may find a line of eager students waiting to get the best spots (the desks by the window). Attached to Olin is Kroch Library, which houses the Asian and the Rare and Manuscript Collections. Any noise above a whisper is prohibited in the Kroch Library.
One of the more specialized libraries is Mann Library, which serves the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and College of Human Ecology. Mann sits on the outskirts of the Ag Quad. Its ends-of-the-earth location, made worse by Ithaca’s cold winter weather, makes studying at Mann Library too much of a trek for some students, but many others recommend its spacious halls for this very reason. Maybe it’s worth the trip just to get a tasty drink or treat from Manndible Café in the front lobby. Unfortunately, however, the café does not take Big Red Bucks.
Carpenter Hall houses the Engineering School’s impressive main library. As you would expect, it has a very large computer lab.
With its beautiful gothic ceiling, the Law Library in Myron Taylor Hall has been compared to Hogwarts castle. Beware: all those serious law students like their quiet.
Catherwood Library, the School of Industrial and Labor Relations library, located in Ives Hall, is a daytime hotspot with new furnishings.
The students in the School of Hotel Administration may spend much of their time in real world learning situations, but they need to hit the books too. The Nestlé Library in Statler Hall provides these resources along with a more social atmosphere than the usual study space.
Fine Arts
Sibley Hall’s Fine Arts Library, open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays. offers the greatest concentration of resources on some of Cornell’s more creative fields: the practice and history of art, architecture, and city and regional planning. And all the hipsters flock to the building’s basement, where the eclectically decorated Green Dragon Café offers a great place to take a break from studying and catch up with friends.
Off the Beaten Path
Though some spaces such as the Physical Sciences Library were closed recently due to the economy, other spaces include libraries for Africana studies, entomology, management and math. In the Music Library in Lincoln Hall, one can listen to music as well as resources on musicians from the Beatles to Tupac Shakur.
Apart from the University libraries is the Browsing Library off the main lobby of the Straight, a good place for magazines, papers and general pleasure reading.
And if one ventures past Cornell’s campus, the Tompkins County Public Library is located in downtown Ithaca.