People say that honesty is one of the best ways to help the writer connect to his or her audience. So, to briefly introduce myself to you, my dear readers, here’s something about me: I am a conceited UofT snob (redundancy used as a rhetorical device to emphasize on the degree of snobbiness present).
Yes, I admit it. As much as I have hated the work load my program (Life Science) has kindly bestowed upon me for the past two years, I love this school, and to prove this, I hereby officially declare my ownership of two UofT hoodies from the UofT Bookstore (bought using my 30-per-cent-off coupon that came with the Registration Handbook and Timetable) – same design, different colours. When I worked at GM last year as a student line assembler, I wore them every other day to rub it in on the kids who went to Brock and Western and UOIT.
Something else about myself: I’m a super nerd (whose grades are not exemplary…but that’s really a sensitive topic). I love books, and my niche is the library. So despite the fact that I pay tons of money each year to live in a not-too-shabby residence, I believe I’ve spent infinitely more time in UofT’s libraries than in my room for the past two years of my university career.
For the next few weeks, I’m going to be writing a UofT Library Saga. It’s going to contain some useful information (the “where, when, how, what and why” of UofT libraries), crazy stories (true and all mine), and keen observations that you might find useful as a student, whether you live on campus or commute. Hopefully, it’ll be an informative ride, if not entertaining in the least.
You probably already know that our library system is enormous: the third largest in North America, next to Harvard and Yale. Yep, it is really something to be proud of. Because of this large system, obviously we have lots of libraries on campus (more than 30)! The larger ones immediately come to mind: Robarts and Gerstein. These are the Biggies.
Biggies are good and all, but I like to compare them to commercialized coffee shops like Starbucks and Tim Hortons. They are well-known to the general public, accessible, but just don’t have that personal touch where you can feel like you belong. So, next time you are trying to find a place to actually study (not to meet up with friends, or to surf the net, or to sleep), try a place from the following list:
Comfortable desks, gives you the feeling of privacy and a true sense of serenity. A gorgeous building. Has a “family library” type room that even contains big comfy couches and a fireplace. If only hot chocolate were allowed!
This is situated on the floor above ES1050, where chemistry, astronomy and lots of other lectures are held. Very convenient if you are a Life Science student and have classes around the west part of campus. This library has been consistently rated as the place to study with best natural lighting. If tons of space and sunlight is your thing, come for a visit!
Found on the 4th floor of Lash Miller (LM), this library has rows of beautiful Apple desktops just for you, many smaller rooms, twists and turns and an ancient wooden ladder reaching up the shelves containing heavily-bound manuals that whisper the secrets of elements and compounds. If you are the curious type, this library is just the place for you! You’ll find many surprises along your journey here.
Many of you have probably either seen or heard about this one somewhere. While it’s not exactly inconspicuous in terms of its location, you’d be surprised at the amazing amount of resources it offers. If you are currently feeling somewhat listless about choosing a good program or what to do after graduation (you are not alone, trust me), I believe this place will be your mothership for months to come–it is seriously the place that makes you realize your fullest potential in terms of what you can do with the knowledge and skills you’ve gained from your undergrad experience. People who enjoy learning more about themselves and their options will be overwhelmed here – in the best sense, of course. It’s also one of the few places I know on campus with a precious photocopier that allows you to copy multiple pages onto one side of a sheet of paper – great way to save money, I know!
If you like that old, traditional type of academic atmosphere, come to the Knox library. It can be accessed via the entrance on King’s College Circle. Walk through the big wooden doors, and try not to be too amazed by the beautiful stone architecture the building proudly displays. Turn right, and voila! A whole new world!
Small, rectangular and beautiful, with a distinct and rather nostalgic smell. The dim lighting bothers some, but definitely softens the atmosphere and is very calming. Sometimes I go there just to pretend that I’m an Artsy.