Shad, Martin each offer pros and cons: Student opinions about which library is superior highlights the strengths and weaknesses of each study space

By Abby Quint ’15, Copy Editor

Which library do you prefer? This ongoing debate amongst my friends and me seems to become more prominent each year. As an underclassmen living in Bonchek last year, I exclusively enjoyed the comforts of the Shadek-Fackenthal Library.  “Shad,” as the locals call it, offers both open spaces and private cubicles.  For optimum levels of seclusion, I suggest taking the marble stairs down to the basement and then immediately heading right.  Here, you will find about 12 cubicles and no humans.  It’s perfect, just like Shad.

These small spaces allow me to beat back distraction and procrastination.  Also, the presence of the stacks brings me comfort.  If all of those authors could write thousands of pages, I can finish a five-page paper.  The metal cubicles inside the stacks might seem harsh, but the extra lighting and lack of cell phone service make for an excellent study space.  However, Shad has its downsides as well.  The closing time, at least for me, is a major issue.  I tend to do my best work between 2 a.m. and 5 a.m., so the closing time often comes as I finish my reading and begin the writing assignment.  And now that I have moved to CROW, Shad is a farther walk than ever before. I did a quick Google Map search of the situation, and it appears that the walk is a half-mile and about 10 minutes.

On the flip side, I can see Martin from my window. According to Google Maps, Martin Library of the Sciences is 0.2 miles away from my apartment, and a four-minute walk.  Because I value convenience — and I am very lazy — I began to dabble in Martin at the beginning of this year.

However, Martin slowly drove me crazy.  Most of the study spaces are out in the open, and the anxiety level slowly builds throughout the evening.  Furthermore, because Martin is smaller, it feels as if every studying student is sitting in my lap.  I will admit that the study rooms in Martin are excellent, and if you are lucky enough to grab one, never let it go.  I find the windowless, former copy room particularly appealing. Gathering opinions from the newspaper office today, I find that some of my colleagues truly prefer Martin.

Whatever you choose today when you begin your work, make sure to thank the library staff for all they do.  And remember friends, in the words of my favorite aardvark, “having fun isn’t hard, when you’ve got a library card!”

Abigail Quint is a senior joint English and Business major. She is the Copy Editor of The College Reporter. Email her at aquint@fandm.edu.

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