Rush Hour in Baker-Berry Library

by Maria Hidalgo | 10/24/18 2:05am

One of the most significant movements that affect our everyday lives as Dartmouth students can be seen in such a common place as Baker-Berry Library. The vast majority of the people on campus know when rush hours are at the library. Depending on the taste and preferences of the library’s patrons, many students structure their study patterns, habits and spots according to the movement of people. 

Loey Crooks, student supervisor for access services in the Baker-Berry Library, has observed how the movement of students around the library has been changing gradually over the years. 

“When I first started here, I used to see more people study in the East Reading Room, and I see less people study there now,” Crooks said. “However, we are getting more and more busy in terms of people wanting to study. When I first started here, I saw how people used the space less and I have seen how First Floor Berry has grown.” 

Crooks said that Sunday nights students routinely ask her for recommendations of hidden study spots because “there is no place for them.”

“One of the most common complaints students have is that there are fewer and fewer quiet places to study in the library,” Crooks said. 

The busiest nights are Sunday and Monday, which makes the library noisier and somewhat more difficult for students to study in certain areas such as the first floor of Berry or Baker Lobby. Given that it is a good balance between quietness and mild noise, the third floor of Berry has become one of the most optimal study spaces for students, evidenced by the crowd on Sunday nights. 

“When all the chargers are checked out during Sunday and Monday night, it is also a good indicator of how busy the place is,” Crooks said.

Another clientele that use the facilities are the students who are part of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Dartmouth, which strives to bring educational services to people in the greater Upper Valley and North Haverhill. 

As Crooks said, these students, who are usually retired, go to Baker-Berry during the afternoons to use the facilities. Therefore, they are also an important movement in the library during these hours of the day. 

Ameena Razzaque ’21 frequently studied in Novack Café or the Stacks her freshman year. Razzaque said that the First-Year Student Enrichment Program pre-orientation recommended she not study in her dorm room.

“There is a corner in the Stacks with its own desk, table and lantern, and it is the most comfortable for me,” said Razzaque.

Razzaque emphasized how she tried to look for places where she could be productive and focused on her work.

“I like to go to places where not many people know me … that’s why places such as Blobby and FFB have too many people walking around, which is very distracting for me personally,” Razzaque said. 

In addition, Razzaque also highlighted how she found new study spaces. However, she also mentioned that it depends on her mood and circumstances of the day. 

Max Feingold ’22 stressed how he avoids the movement of students when he goes to study in the library.

“My favorite study spot is the Tower Room because it is very quiet, and everybody is very into their work, which motivates me,” Feingold said. “If I study with other people, I like to study in Second-Floor Berry because it is not completely quiet, but it is also not loud.”

Feingold said he avoids first floor Berry because it is very busy. ” 

Ivan Cornish Morales ’19’s favorite study spot in the library is the Dr. Seuss Room. 

“I am a big fan of the comfy chairs they have there, and it is also usually pretty empty, which means I can go there with friends without worrying about being loud while working on a problem set with them,” Cornish said. “It’s a pretty fun room just because of the fact that it is linked to Dr. Seuss and you have his books around.” 

Nonetheless, Cornish explored many parts of the library until settling on his favorite room. 

“During freshman fall, I was a big fan of studying by the Orozco Mural, but then I found out it was a little too quiet down there, so I also tried studying at King Arthur Flour Café since they have great tables to study,” Cornish said. “But I believe the spot that works the best for me is the Dr. Seuss Room.”

He also advises Dartmouth to go to study spots that work the best for them in certain classes. 

“Some places are best for working on problem sets, while others are better for writing papers,” Cornish said. “So, I think that finding different spots for different types of work is pretty great.”

Rosa Mendoza ’20 differs from the rest in that she prefers to study at the Kresge Library, in Fairchild Hall. 

“It is a little bit separate from the Baker-Berry Library, but it has such a beautiful view and it is pretty quiet, while providing the same resources as Baker-Berry,” Mendoza said. 

  Mendoza said that Kresge’s central location is very important. 

Mendoza explained how she started studying in Baker-Berry Library, but after living further away from campus, started gravitating to other places such as the Kresge Library and her room. 

“I like Kresge in any way, but sometimes in a beautiful fall day I find it effective to study outside given that it keeps me awake,” Mendoza said.