Monday, October 17th, 2011...1:35 pm

What’s the Word on Libraries? A Series

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(Above: Emmanuel College Library@ Victoria University – a good place to channel your inner Harry Potter.)

As students it’s easy to get into a routine, and then to stick to it. Unfortunately, sometimes this routine turns into a rut and we end up missing awesome parts of campus. I’m sure you’ve already found a U of T library to work in. But do you have one that is better suited for groups? What about one with outlets for literature review writing sessions that will last longer than your laptop battery? And last but certainly not least, what about one that makes you feel like Harry Potter? The truth is, U of T has got lots of libraries – 51 on St. George campus alone, and out there is one perfectly suited to all of your needs. This is just a first glimpse of some of the libraries available to us.

John W. Graham Library @ Trinity College
Munk School of Global Affairs, 3 Devonshire Place, Closest Subway: Museum Station

Just step inside of this library and you begin to feel smarter. It has that old-school, studious, important-person type vibe going on. This library is the place to come in the winter, as it has central rooms on each floor that have working gas fireplaces – definitely a good place to curl up with a book (or 50. I did mention that lit review didn’t I?). Other things you may want to know are:
– computer lab with 10 computers
– 12 additional computers scattered throughout library
– study carrels with outlets in most of them
– a few large tables
– GENERALLY QUIET, not a place for group work unless you book a study room
– study rooms: can be booked for 3 hours a day, up to a week in advance. Rooms are large enough for 5-6 people
– no food allowed, drinks must be in water bottle or travel mug.
– hours can be found here

E.J. Pratt Library @ Victoria University
71 Queens Park Crescent, Closest Subway: Museum Station

Whatever traditional feel John Graham Library had, Pratt has the opposite. Recently renovated, this library has a lean, clean, modern feel to it. It has huge windows and skylights, which make it desirable for those non-vampire types. It’s quite large, and actually houses a publisher on the third floor. It has lots of amenities, suitable for a lot of various needs, such as:
– reference research desk
– 50+ desktop computers, as well as laptop check-out
– information desk with IT support
– plenty of study carrels, each with power outlets
– first floor has large tables, but no power outlets contained within
– 2nd floor has long tables, with numerous power outlets contained within
– generally quiet
– vending machines and lounge area in the basement
– hours can be found here

Emmanuel College Library @ Victoria University
3rd Floor, Emmanuel College, 75 Queen’s Park Crescent East, Closest Subway: Museum Station

I know you’re all wondering which library makes you feel like Harry Potter – well this is it! The smallest of the libraries covered in this entry, it’s my personal favourite. Don’t come here to make a sound, this library’s serenity comes close to uncanny. It hasn’t always been so quiet though – it’s where Tears for Fears went to film the video for their hit, “Head Over Heels” (check it out here).  Harry Potter, 80s new wave, Emmanuel Library is the perfect blend of academia meets pop culture. Other resources include:
– 1 power outlet for each 4 person desk
– 6 desktop computers, as well as laptop check-out
– printing capabilities
– general office supplies such as: paper cutter, 3-hole punch, staplers
– NOT suitable for group work, too QUIET and no study rooms available
– hours can be found here

So that’s it for now, but this is just the beginning. Of course, I can’t cover all of the libraries on campus, or we’d need a separate blog for it. So, tell me, trusting grad students, what are your favourite libraries to work in? Why? Share your insight with us so I can include it in the next entry of the library series!


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