It’s the end of the year, finals are approaching, and it’s hard to be motivated to study when the outside world has suddenly turned from dreary winter to beautiful spring. And yet, the library calls. If you’re lucky enough to attend one of these universities though, then studying in the library might not seem like such a chore after all.
For your enjoyment and your daydreams, the Lala has rounded up some of the most gorgeous college libraries to share with our readers. After all, you know what Arthur said: “Having fun isn’t hard, when you’ve got a library card!”
1. JOE AND RIKE MANSUETO LIBRARY, UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO
At the University of Chicago, you can pretend that you’re outside while actually studying in the library. “The Bubble” is a rather stunning study area available in the Joe and Rike Mansueto Library. Plus, did we mention that to check out a book you request it from a computer and a ROBOT finds it amongst the 5 levels of underground storage to bring it up to you? How cool is that??
2. BAPST LIBRARY, BOSTON COLLEGE
The Bapst Library of Boston College had its 90th birthday last year. It also happens to be known by students as the “Harry Potter” library. Look at that picture, it’s practically a castle! Sign us up, we’re officially transferring to Hogwarts.
3. COOK LEGAL RESEACH LIBRARY, UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN
The Cook Legal Research Library of the University of Michigan, with its spires, huge reading room, stained glass windows, and graceful metal work, is an impressive building to say the least. Who says you have to be a law students to study in the law library?
4. LINDERMAN LIBRARY, LEHIGH UNIVERSITY
The Linderman Library is colloquially known “Lucy” to the students of Lehigh University. This odd name was adapted due to the donor of the library’s daughter, also called Lucy. Lucy (the library, not the person) is quite spectacular, especially her large stained glass sky-light that is shaped like a mandala.
5. SUZZALLO LIBRARY, UNIVERSTY OF WASHINGTON
We’re 99% sure that the Reading Room of the Suzzallo Library at the University of Washington is also part of Hogwarts. Even if it’s not, it does have a special art exhibit inside dedicated to ravens. This exhibition is a reference to an old Native American story from the Pacific Northwest Coast. Too cool.
6. GEORGE PEABODY LIBRARY, JOHNS HOPKINS UNIVERSITY
Not only is the George Peabody Library stunningly gorgeous inside, but is has also become a prime wedding and event venue in the Baltimore area. Yes, you can get married (or just have a really big party) in a library. And don’t forget, you can study there too!
7. BUTLER LIBRARY, COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY
The Butler Library at Columbia University is home to over 2 million books. That’s a whole lot of knowledge! Its old card catalog system was moved online in 1985, but the massive amount of actual index cards organized alphabetically still remains and can be viewed by visitors.
8. FISHER FINE ARTS LIBRARY, UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA
Another library that looks like a castle? OH YES. Great architect Frank Lloyd Wright once called the Fisher Fine Arts Library at the University of Pennsylvania “a work of art,” which we totally agree with. Look at its majesty!
9. URIS LIBRARY, CORNELL UNIVERSITY
Inside and outside, the Uris Library of Cornell University calls to us. “Come study,” it says. Or maybe it’s saying “come stare at what a beautiful building I am.” Hard to tell…
10. PAUL BARRET, JR. LIBRARY, RHODES COLLEGE
Sure, the Paul Barret, Jr. is beautiful inside. I mean, look at that staircase. But it also has a – wait for it – literary garden. This is a special study space outside of the library that allows students to surround themselves with others who are working hard, but still get to be outside and experience that wonderful spring sunshine. FINALLY, a compromise between “I don’t want to fail my test,” and, “but it’s way too nice to spend the day inside.”
Our list would be incomplete without mentioning a couple of gems that you might study in while abroad. Libraries tour of the world, anyone?
UNIVERSITY OF SALAMANCA LIBRARY, SALAMACA, SPAIN
This library from the University of Salamanca was featured in a book called Temples of Knowledge: Historical Libraries of the Western World. We can definitely see why. It was even the cover photo! You go, Salamanca.
THE TRINITY COLLEGE LIBRARY, DUBLIN, IRELAND
The library at Trinity College is the largest library in the entire Republic of Ireland. As if that weren’t impressive enough, it is also a “copyright library,” which means that it has permission to receive all materials published in the country FOR FREE. Definitely put a visit to this library on your to-do list if you’re in the area.