University Library: An alternative to the newsroom

Entrance of University Library. Photo by Adrian Wan.

Students sought out a quiet place to work in the University Library. Photo by Adrian Wan.

While East Fairchild and Fisk bustled with cherubs shouting loudly into their phones and frantically taking notes, Northwestern’s University Library became a popular alternative for those still struggling to turn in their assignments before deadline.

The brutalist-style building is across from the Norris University Center, about a four-minute walk from East Fairchild. The library contains areas to satisfy the needs of different people: collaborative spaces, quiet study spaces and group study rooms.

“The dorm is small and stuffy, while I prefer open places to study,” Gina Kim said. “My friends and I went to the library to work on trend stories, resumes and cover letters because lots of people were talking about how beautiful the library was. Also, I liked the calming atmosphere in the library, where I heard people typing on keyboards and whispering gently to each other. It really helped me remain on ‘studying mode.’”

The library has 5 million volumes and 14 terabytes of unique digital content, according to the University Library website, making it a powerful database for cherubs.

Sarah Pillard said she went to the library to find resources for her trend story. Although the book she was looking for was checked out, she quickly found a similar book thanks to the library’s clear organization system.

Katie Ho said she went to University Library to look at its architecture and obtain a general feeling of Northwestern. But, like Pillard, Ho said she also went because there were a lot of librarians to whom she could reach out for additional information.

“While newsrooms in Fisk are more likely places for conversation and collaboration, the library really makes people focus,” Ho said.

Northwestern University Library. Photo by Adrian Wan.

The Northwestern University Library provided cherubs with resources for their stories. Photo by Adrian Wan.