Where is the best place to go on campus when you need to study?
LESS STRESSFUL IN HUDDLE
When you think “I need to get some real good, hard studying done,” the first place you probably think of is the library and for good reasons. But for some people the library is too quiet, too boring and too full of books.
You all know how the Huddle is arranged, all those tables with chairs around them, set up so that you can sit right across from someone, and there are the couches and armchairs around a table, and televisions placed on the wall. It provides a relaxed yet somewhat energetic area for students to talk and maybe watch TV whilst studying. The way it’s set up allows for optimal communication between people at a table or isolation from the same people.
The Huddle’s tables are much different than the library’s. The library’s tables are all at the same level, have simple wooden chairs surrounding them and you often get one all to yourself. In the Huddle, the tables vary from hip height to chest height, and the chairs vary from hardwood and metal for studying something a little more intense, to soft couches for subjects that allow a little more leisure.
Other great aspects of the Huddle are the walls and ceiling. They aren’t full of boring old books, labeled and numbered, that make you yawn just glancing at them. The walls and ceiling of the Huddle are nice and artistic, without being distracting. There are pictures on the wall that make sense and don’t distract you from your work, while the piping on the ceiling gives off an urban vibe.
Sitting in the Huddle is more relaxing than the library because it allows you to focus without the constant presence of the thought “I am in a place where I need to study and nothing but.”
The final point I would like to make is that in the Huddle there aren’t any librarians whispering “Shh!,” every time you try to talk to your friend, neighbor or peer; you can talk to someone and not be showered in librarian saliva.
SEPARATE WORK FROM PLAY
Augustana College is privileged and blessed to have the Mikkelson Library for students to study and explore. Students are able to explore numerous different settings to see which works best for them. Studying options range from individual cubicles all the way to rooms conducive to group studying.
Whether time allows for a quick 15-minute cram session or a six-hour study session with friends, the various choices make the library a great place for any student to be productive. Three floors give students plenty of room to sprawl out in a quiet and focused environment. When students need to study, they can count on the three-level library to have an open table or chair.
Completely renovated in 2008-2009, the Mikkelson Library welcomes students with a fresh and modern design. The facelift added additional natural light, a fireplace reading area, and a glass stair tower. The building has vibrant energy without distracting commotion.
In addition to structural improvements, the library houses up-to-date technology in all of the study rooms. The television monitors allow groups to work together in a convenient and efficient manner. New computers and printer/scanner/copiers are also available throughout the library.
People are in the library to study; therefore, there are implicit rules of how the library operates. While there may be occasional noises and disturbances, for the most part the library remains a quiet working area. Students can count on the library being an adequate place to study day-in and day-out.
Meanwhile in the Huddle, space is limited and the area is highly trafficked. The Huddle offers a great place to read the newspaper, catch up with friends over coffee or grab a quick meal, but the area does not compare to the library for studying purposes.
When studying in the library, students have easy access to many useful resources. Printers, books, magazines, computers and librarians are all available to help students. Workers in the Huddle are wonderful people; with that said, they are likely not the people you want helping cite a 15-page research paper due in an hour. People don’t go to the library to pick up a transfer meal, don’t go to the Huddle and expect to focus on studying.
By studying in the library, students are able to make clear divides between academics and casual living. If the Huddle becomes an area for studying, it’s harder to separate “work” and “play.”
Students who choose to work in the library know when they enter the doors that their mission is to study. Distinguishing the two makes the Huddle more enjoyable for casual purposes and the library more effective for studying purposes.