Submitted by Parvati “Paru” Gopalan
As a commuter, the library has become my second home and, in some sense, my refuge. The fact that I spend much of my time in the library isn’t solely about channeling my inner nerd, although that is the main reason the library and I have gotten to know each other so well. If you strip away the cliché that a library is a “Bookworms Only Club,” you’ll discover many secrets.
I like to think that the library is divided into three sections – “The Casual Café,” “The Poppin’ Computers” and “The Cave.” The Casual Café is characterized by hushed whispers, loud chomping and amazing mochas. This is the one-stop-shop section – it offers food, an atmosphere where light chatter is accepted and an absolutely serene view overlooking our beautiful campus that is quite the stress reliever.
Life is always lively at the section with the computers. Despite the ‘No talking’ signs plastered on the walls, The Poppin’ Computers have the anything goes feel. I can’t tell you how many new YouTube videos I’ve discovered while creepily watching someone else’s screen. Plus, my iTunes library has seen a significant increase in the number of songs I’ve purchased by picking up a catchy beat from someone who is in the zone with jams cranked pretty high. Did you know that in a standard deck of cards, the king of hearts is the only king without a mustache? Yes, I’ve accumulated that fact and many others just from sitting in this section. Perhaps it’s the intimate set-up that makes the computer section have such a friendly atmosphere.
My favorite section in the library, however, is The Cave. The quiet but cozy basement area has this incredible power that forces me to put on my “homework grind” face. Aside from enjoying the distraction-free zone, I brush my teeth, eat my afternoon snack and sometimes take 20-minute power naps in the basement. I’m not the only one who utilizes the basement to the fullest – I’ve seen young romantics try to casually get each others’ number in the computer room, others use the corners along the back wall as a place for salaat (a form of prayer in Islam), some use it to watch endless sports replays and others as a place for group study dates.
All three sections of the library have one uniting factor – everyone is guaranteed admittance and access to its educational facilities.
I’m not saying the library is perfect. Of course I’ve noticed the funky smell some days, but wouldn’t your home smell weird if 200 people tramped on your rugs each week? Unlike in the Science Center, you will never hear someone in the library say, “You’re not a… bibliophile major… What are YOU doing in here?” Guess it just doesn’t have the same ring!
Our John C. Wyllie Library empowers us with knowledge not only from its books but also by being a social hub that facilitates cultural growth.
Goplan is a senior math major.