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    Hey all --

    Sorry if this has been discussed before, but I couldn't get the search function to work as I wanted it to.

    I'm hoping to introduce some variety into my study spots over the break, and I'm wondering if people would be willing to recommend libraries (or other study spots, really) that they particularly like and that don't require a particular college membership - e.g., departmental libraries. I'm looking for places that are quiet, have good lighting, decent hours, and some form of Internet access (ideally WiFi). I'd also prefer places that allow you to take coffee/tea with lids in, if any such places exist. I'm also open to suggestions of coffee shops that are on the quieter side. Thanks!
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    (Original post by _veritas)
    Hey all --

    Sorry if this has been discussed before, but I couldn't get the search function to work as I wanted it to.

    I'm hoping to introduce some variety into my study spots over the break, and I'm wondering if people would be willing to recommend libraries (or other study spots, really) that they particularly like and that don't require a particular college membership - e.g., departmental libraries. I'm looking for places that are quiet, have good lighting, decent hours, and some form of Internet access (ideally WiFi). I'd also prefer places that allow you to take coffee/tea with lids in, if any such places exist. I'm also open to suggestions of coffee shops that are on the quieter side. Thanks!
    The law library is nice. It's really bright because of the big glass window. They ring a bell when it's closing though and it closes at 6pm on Saturday and all day on Sunday if I remember correctly :-(
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    I second the law library. It's open 9am - 9pm Monday - Friday and 9am - 6pm on Saturday (in exam term, it's open longer). It's really peaceful, WiFi in all of the library or PWF computers if you prefer. Good lighting. Can't take coffee in but there's an area on the LG floor which is good for sitting and drinking or snacking. I also find it harder to procrastinate in there so i'm a lot more productive.
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    (Original post by _veritas)
    Hey all --

    Sorry if this has been discussed before, but I couldn't get the search function to work as I wanted it to.

    I'm hoping to introduce some variety into my study spots over the break, and I'm wondering if people would be willing to recommend libraries (or other study spots, really) that they particularly like and that don't require a particular college membership - e.g., departmental libraries. I'm looking for places that are quiet, have good lighting, decent hours, and some form of Internet access (ideally WiFi). I'd also prefer places that allow you to take coffee/tea with lids in, if any such places exist. I'm also open to suggestions of coffee shops that are on the quieter side. Thanks!
    If you want a coffee shop you can work in, the Grad Cafe at the top of the University Centre, Mill lane is really nice. Its usually filled with a mixture of people reading and working and those socialising, so the conversation is usually not as loud as elsewhere and it has a kind of studious feel. Has lapwing, eduroam and cheap tea, coffee and edibles.

    My favourite library for quietness is the Whipple Library, History and Philosophy of Science department, Free School Lane. You can't take food and drink there. It has wireless.

    My friends tell me that the Maths library at the Maths department in West Cambridge is very large and very quiet. I intend to try that out some time.

    The Philosophy library on the Sidgewick site has always seemed quiet to me when I visited it, although I've only been a few times.

    For nice aesthetics and feel, the International Relations/Politics/Development library (don't know its actual name) at the top of the Mill Lane lecture rooms is very handsome and seemed relatively quiet.

    I also absolutely love the Haddon (Arch and Anth) library off of Pembroke street, even though its too small for the number of people using it. (Looks like a Victorian's personal library)

    All of these places close at normal tiems (5ish) except the Maths library which is 24 hour.
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    Being a geographer, I am probably biased towards the Geography Library (Downing Site). But, I have heard it is a good place to work, and others do tend to work there, for example some natscis work there I know...
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    (Original post by Craghyrax)

    All of these places close at normal tiems (5ish) except the Maths library which is 24 hour.
    I'm pretty sure that while the Maths library is 24 hour the building itself is not, so unless you are a fourth year Mathmo and have card access you risk being locked in!
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    (Original post by Zoedotdot)
    I'm pretty sure that while the Maths library is 24 hour the building itself is not, so unless you are a fourth year Mathmo and have card access you risk being locked in!
    Yeh you can't get in after usual business hours. But if you get in before the staff leave at 5 then you can stay as long as you want.
    Forgot to clarify.
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    (Original post by Craghyrax)
    Yeh you can't get in after usual business hours. But if you get in before the staff leave at 5 then you can stay as long as you want.
    Forgot to clarify.
    I think that technically they're meant to go around and check whether or not the people remaining are allowed to stay (it used to involve a green sticker on your card. I only know because it was mentioned in an induction thingy) but that doesn't mean they do it.
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    :facepalm:
    (Original post by Supermerp)
    I think that technically they're meant to go around and check whether or not the people remaining are allowed to stay (it used to involve a green sticker on your card. I only know because it was mentioned in an induction thingy) but that doesn't mean they do it.
    Oh ok. Thanks for the warning.
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    Thanks for the suggestions. Grovichik and gethsemane, ironically I am a law student but not a huge fan of the law library. I've found it to be poorly designed, both in that the library floors are open to each other (you can hear someone coughing two floors down...), and in that the library is poorly sealed off from the remainder of the building, meaning that you can hear a fair amount of noise during class changes. I've also found there's a lot of loud whispering from those who are more interested in working than in socializing. And, I find the ban on bringing drinks with lids (other than water) into the library both frustrating and different than all the previous university libraries in which I've worked. However, the noise/socializing issues may disappear during break, so I'll have to give it another try.

    Craghy and Andy, thanks for those other suggestions - lots of interesting spots to check out. I usually study in my room, which I love - very quiet, with pretty view - but I'd just like to get out and see more of this pretty city, including the libraries it has to offer.

    And, blue_space, no apologies for being geeky or loving libraries. Life's much better with libraries.
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    (Original post by _veritas)
    I've also found there's a lot of loud whispering from those who are more interested in working than in socializing. And, I find the ban on bringing drinks with lids (other than water) into the library both frustrating and different than all the previous university libraries in which I've worked. However, the noise/socializing issues may disappear during break, so I'll have to give it another try.
    .
    Laughter, whispering and socialising is common to pretty much every library I've been in here. Cambridge students are utter morons like that. They really don't give a damn about other students who actually want to work in libraries. The only solution I've found is using quieter libraries like the ones mentioned above, and going at unpopular times.

    My boyfriend's University library has separate areas with large desks for 'communal studying' and other quiet zones. I really wish we had that here.
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    Usually, if you tell people near you to shut up they will. Also, if you sit near the back there are less people. No idea why but it's true (it's not unusual for me to sit right at the back of the Squire and have only one other person sit anywhere near me in four hours). That being said, i also listen to music when i work so the noise when people come out of lectures doesn't bother me.

    Criminology library (if you go out of the Squire and look left, it's right there) is pretty good except you can only have bottled water. But if you sit upstairs, hardly anyone talks (not enough people around to talk) and there's basically no noise. Opening hours aren't amazing though (9 - 7pm Monday - Thurs. 9-5 on Friday and 10-4 on Saturday). But for a few hours of study, it may be worth a try. You can also buy a criminology bear if you want. I'm not even joking...
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    What about the reading room in the UL? Or if you're willing to explore a bit, the UL has all kinds of nooks and crannies that are quiet to study in.
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    gethsemane: fair enough. I'll give the law library a try some day this week, and see how it feels out-of-term. Maybe I'll also be more assertive with chatty people next term; I've noticed that just glaring at them doesn't cause them to stop talking. :P Also, thanks for the Criminology library suggestion - I'll put that on my list to try too! If I like the library, maybe I'll buy a bear.

    Craghy: totally agree re: different types of seating. I like a mix of communal tables, private carrels, and other group/individual study rooms. The communal tables are usually loudest even if they are on quiet floors, but people who want quiet can move to the carrels. At least, that was my experience in undergrad and law school.

    Angela: I do like the musty feel of the UL with lots of nooks. It's always a treat to go in there to grab books. I've chosen not to do much studying there because of the ban on bringing backpacks into the library. I usually have a thick pack of books/binders + laptop any time I'm studying, and lugging all of that into the UL in their plastic bags would be quite a project. (Of all the rules around libraries I've discovered so far, the no-backpacks-in-the-UL rule is the most frustrating. I understand the concern about book theft, but I preferred the approach of my previous university: universal bag checks on the way out.)

    Sorry, I'm sure this must sound like a lot of grumbling, which I don't mean for it to. I'm only here for the year, and I'm happy to spend the entire time studying in my room if none of the libraries is what I'm looking for. (And I like my college library, so there's that.) I wouldn't have brought up the frustrations with the UL/law library at all if others hadn't mentioned those libraries. But I appreciate everyone's suggestions!
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    (Original post by _veritas)
    Hey all --

    Sorry if this has been discussed before, but I couldn't get the search function to work as I wanted it to.

    I'm hoping to introduce some variety into my study spots over the break, and I'm wondering if people would be willing to recommend libraries (or other study spots, really) that they particularly like and that don't require a particular college membership - e.g., departmental libraries. I'm looking for places that are quiet, have good lighting, decent hours, and some form of Internet access (ideally WiFi). I'd also prefer places that allow you to take coffee/tea with lids in, if any such places exist. I'm also open to suggestions of coffee shops that are on the quieter side. Thanks!
    I'm actually a big fan of the MML Library - nice and quiet, airy, open... Although I think I'll have to try out the Grad Cafe now that it's been mentioned. Am I right in thinking that it's actually open to everyone, not just postgrads, if I may ask?
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    I must say, I didn't once work in a library for my first term, I'd just borrow books and head to my room.

    Or go to Starbucks/Eat/Costa etc if I'm in town.

    The UL has pretty cool secluded spots though.
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    The Marshall Library of Economics is quite good. Its shut all weekend though
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    (Original post by Languages Nutter)
    Am I right in thinking that it's actually open to everyone, not just postgrads, if I may ask?
    Yes
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    (Original post by Languages Nutter)
    I'm actually a big fan of the MML Library - nice and quiet, airy, open... Although I think I'll have to try out the Grad Cafe now that it's been mentioned. Am I right in thinking that it's actually open to everyone, not just postgrads, if I may ask?
    I was going to suggest the MML library, but then I realised that the only reason I really like working there is the availability of relevant books and journals. I don't always find it that quiet - as a rule, linguists are extremely chatty people and there's always someone carrying on a stupidly loud conversation in there. On the plus side it is lovely and airy and there's loads of light, but the huge windows mean that if you sit anywhere other than at the big central desks it can be absolutely freezing or totally blinding, depending on the temperature and sun.
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    (Original post by Zoedotdot)
    I was going to suggest the MML library, but then I realised that the only reason I really like working there is the availability of relevant books and journals. I don't always find it that quiet - as a rule, linguists are extremely chatty people and there's always someone carrying on a stupidly loud conversation in there. On the plus side it is lovely and airy and there's loads of light, but the huge windows mean that if you sit anywhere other than at the big central desks it can be absolutely freezing or totally blinding, depending on the temperature and sun.
    And people keep slamming the door Or maybe it sticks, but whatever it is, it really gets on my nerves...I think I spent too much time in there last year
 
 
 
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