Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Study Spaces: Mendel Library

Blame it on study abroad. Last semester, I was sitting in the sole reading room of the school at which I was studying, when my mind drifted to Princeton. I know it may be cliché to ask this, but do you realize just how many study spaces there are on Princeton’s campus?

Freshman and sophomore years, I tended to study in the same spots every day. I gave great preference to my comfortable room and the lovely East Pyne. Now, back from across the pond, I realize that I only have a year and a half with which to explore this incredible campus.

So I have resolved to study in every library at Princeton before graduation, and I want to take you along for the ride. Sure, studying might not sound like the most thrilling of adventures, but when you’re changing the scenery and studying topics that you love, I think that it can be quite exciting. I’ll alternate between study spaces I’ve never been to and study spaces I think you may never have been to. And if you let me in on your favorite places to study, you might just find me blogging away from those locations.

Since these are my blog posts, I am going to be completely biased and begin with the reading room in my home department’s library. But in all fairness, I recently evaluated an Orange Key tour during which a prospective guide described this library as one of the more underutilized spaces on campus. I concur.

Just don’t you all go rushing here at once, because one of the great things about the Mendel Music Library is its solitude. Inside the library, walk up the very narrow staircase to the second floor. Turn left and enter the bright, open reading room. Here you’ll find ten carrels, a round table, a rectangular table and five comfortable armchairs, so if you ever get tired of studying in one spot, you can pick up, move five feet and feel like you’re in a completely different setting.

Windows cover an entire wall, so it’s great when the sun is out. Another wall is partially covered in glass, so anyone passing by can see you, but really, there’s not a ton of traffic around here.

There’s also a printer and a computer through which you can watch those assigned films that can only be seen in certain locations on campus. And on the first floor, the Listening Room has eight computers with noise canceling headphones, as well as three that are linked to keyboards and music-composition software (although that number seems far too small when practically everyone in MUS 205 wants to work on their composition assignments at 11 pm for a 12 am deadline).

The only real downside to this study space is that the outlets in the reading room are way too far from the tables and carrels, so if you want to work on your laptop for longer than its battery life, you may want to bring an extension cord. Other than that, I think this is a pretty great place to study. But then again, I’m biased. Let me know what you think. And next week, I’ll come to you from another location, ready to discover the best study spaces on Princeton’s campus.

Mendel Music Library Hours:

Monday-Thursday, 8:30am-Midnight

Friday, 8:30am-8:00pm

Saturday, 10:00am-6:00pm

Sunday, 12:00pm-Midnight

-Meghan Todt ‘11

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