The People You Find in Different Parts of the Library

In my three years of studying (and procrastinating) at Dartmouth, I’ve learned that where you study in the library has a lot to do with the task at hand. Depending on whether you’re banging out a midterm paper or casually putting your syllabus dates into your calendar has a huge influence on where you’ll be sitting. Most students at Dartmouth vary their study spots and you’ll quickly learn that each area of the library has its own distinct personality.


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The go-to spot for those with caffeine addictions and a lot of time on their hands. Also good for people with work that only needs about half the normal amount of concentration, so that the other half can be devoted to calling your friends over from the never-ending line and catching up on gossip.


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FFB gets a bad rep. Once, while working on a lab report there (for real, Chem 6 is no joke), a tour guide walked by and said to her group of prospies that this is where you’ll mostly see people checking Facebook and Gmail and pretending to do work. So while at the time I was all “give me a break, does this titration look like Gmail to you?!” I have to admit that the general atmosphere of FFB is one of louder-than-whispered conversations and friends trying to get some work done.


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For people who actually need to get work done but aren’t willing to completely sacrifice Facetime, 3FB is the perfect place to study. From couch tables to cubbies, it’s full of variety, and the bright lights are enough for everyone who’s trying to see and be seen — while finishing readings.


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If you’re studying in Novack, you are either working on a group project or collaborating on a problem set or getting a bag full of Sour Patch Kids/chocolate-covered almonds/Swedish Fish or trolling your friends that are doing any of the above.


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These are your thesis-writers, night-before-it’s-due paper writers and anyone who digs the isolation of a grayscale maze of books.

The Annexes

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Basically just a more isolated version of the stacks. Enough said.


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Do people even do work there? Snag one of the elusive wooden tables, and there’s a shot you’ll be working through that pile of research between chats with every friend who walks into the library. Those comfy couches are also a recipe for disaster, so don’t count on doing anything more than napping or checking Facebook.

Tower Room

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People who feel like studying in a room full of old books, probably because it makes them feel distinguished. If you have serious reading to do and feel inspired by the sense that decades of alumni that have also studied in the same spot, this is the place for you.



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The word most commonly associated with 1902 is almost certainly “grim,” most likely due to 1902 being one of two study spaces open 24/7 in the library. It is always occupied at witching hour by at least one sad soul working on a dreaded paper or trying to study for an intimidating exam. Why else would you possibly choose to study there?


Stuff Dartmouth Kids Like: Big Green Mysteries
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In life, you will be faced with many questions. Some are big – is there a God? What is justice? Should I stay in bed or go to my 9L? Some are small – what should I get for breakfast? Which Instagram filter should I use on the millionth picture I’ve taken of Baker Tower covered in snow? Tree or shrub?

Welcome to week five. It’s Carnival, it’s beautiful and snowy outside (and a treacherous death trap) and hopefully your midterms are taking a hiatus for now. Either way, ditch the library because you only get four Carnivals, and as relatively sucky as this weekend might be, by the time you get to senior year you’ll wish you had hung out more. Unless your GPA is a 1.5, in which case get your act together.

In any case, week five is a time for reflection. We’re halfway through the term, which means that in all likelihood all the big, sweeping goals you set for yourself have faded and you have more work to make up than you can handle. For me, it means that I’m spending half of my time doing reading for my classes and the other half watching the snow fall and thinking ponderous thoughts, such as:

Why are there no bathrooms on Fourth Floor Berry?

I love studying on the FBs. They are bright, they are just cold enough to keep me awake (how anybody gets any work done in the Tower Room, I will never know) and they have enough people working in close proximity to each other to shame me into doing work and staying off BuzzFeed. Third floor is great because there are bathrooms and I pee basically every 20 minutes, but occasionally it turns into a hellhole of sophomore girls running around and talking to each other about their weekends when all I need to do is get through 40 pages of reading. Fourth floor is even better because no one talks up there, but alas, there is no bathroom. Why?

Why is Memorial Day a reading day?

Memorial Day was made for barbecues, beer and tanning. Memorial Day was not made for studying and being stressed out about the fact that you have a three-day break between reading day one and reading day two. You’d think this would give you more time to study, but it really just means you spend the day building up momentum to study — all of which you lose by the time reading period day two rolls around.

Why doesn’t our DBA roll over?

Anyone who’s not a ’14, you don’t remember this, but there was once a time when DDS seemed like it was on our side. Prepaid meal plans included $200 of Topside money that could be used as DBA if you wanted, everything was a la carte and unspent money rolled over from term to term. And then came the SmartChoice-pocalypse of 11F. If the meal plan change was really to ensure that students don’t run out of money, why are we losing the money we don’t spend at the end of each term? Dartmouth, we’ve yet to hear a real explanation for why we are losing hundreds of dollars a year on a meal plan nobody actually likes. Are we helping pay off the loans taken out to pay for the new FoCo?

Why is there a one dollar fine for getting a little index card with your HB combo?

Does it really take that much effort to look up a combination and write three numbers down on a piece of paper? I don’t think so.

Why does Dartmouth Dining Services have ridiculous FoCo to-go rules?

I have on many, many occasions seen DDS staff members stop students with fruit or food in their cold cups and throw it out. This makes literally no sense. It’s not like this food is getting put back, because gross. It’s not like it’s getting saved and donated to a food bank or other charitable cause at the end of the day. It’s literally getting thrown out because whoever makes DDS policy would rather force students to adhere to its ridiculous rules – which partially explains where all our money is going – than allow them to eat ten pieces of mango. I hate this expression, but there are starving kids all around the world. Let’s not act like throwing untouched food into the garbage on principle is cool. Also, does “all you can eat” mean anything to you?

The Nine Stages of Attempting to Study in the Library

 Trips to the library start with the best intentions. I usually saunter into Baker-Berry with a well-thought out plan to finish all my reading for the week, outline that gov. paper and finish all of my FSP apps multiple weeks in advance. Realistically though, most of my library excursions end up looking a little more like this:

1. Deciding where, exactly, to study.

This is a decision often more stress-inducing than the actual work itself. Should I go to FFB for facetime? 3FB for slightly quieter facetime? The stacks so I can actually get work done? Nah, the stacks are way too grim. And staircases are daunting. Periodicals it is.

2. Wait, a coffee run is definitely necessary.

Luckily, KAF is right there! Standing in line gives me plenty of time to contemplate what to order. Should I go for a large medium or a large dark? (Wait, that’s not even what they’re called anymore. I’d better just get hot chocolate.)

3. Being distracted by six people I know.

 Commiserating about how much work we have to do is way more appealing than actually doing it. Also, last night’s Girls is just begging to be discussed.

4. Okay, now it’s time to start studying for real.

 After removing my coat, hat, gloves and other miscellaneous winter accessories, I’m ready to go!

5. But first, I need to check my blitz and Facebook.

Scrolling through this morning’s torrent of listserv blitzes is definitely a productive use of time, right? Maybe it’s time to join a new club. Also, I should probably click through my roommate’s LSA photos and “like” 80 percent of them.

6. Buzzfeed is on my bookmarks bar, which obviously means I should click on it. 

Cookie Dough flavored Oreos exist? Hold on, what?

7. Okay, I guess I should start my gov. reading now.

I don’t want all of these people around me to think I’m not being productive or anything like that. Wait, how does Canvas work again?

8.    Work, work, work.

I put in a solid two hours of actual work. Readings are done, paper is (roughly) outlined and FSP apps aren’t due for another two weeks anyway, so they can wait. I give my study session a solid B+.

9.    Time to go home!

Studying can be really exhausting. I’d say it’s time for a nap.

Day of the Dead display will continue through Wednesday night

ANGIE YANG/The Dartmouth Senior Staff
ANGIE YANG/The Dartmouth Senior Staff

A special holiday was recognized on Oct. 31 and celebrations have not yet ceased in Baker-Berry Library. No, the holiday to which I’m referring is not Halloween, but Day of the Dead, a Mexican celebration that is observed from October 31st to November 2nd. The colorful display across from the Stacks entrance on First Floor Berry serves as an altar to honor this traditional holiday.

Ballet Folklorico de Dartmouth, an organization that teaches and performs Latino traditional dances, set up this annual display to celebrate the Mexican tradition. Day of the Dead commemorates the belief that the souls of the dead visit their families during those three days. Continue reading

Baker Tower bells accept song requests

CURIE KIM/The Dartmouth Staff

We’ve all heard the bells in Baker Library Bell Tower ring to the tune of the Dartmouth Alma Mater among other songs as we rushed to our 10A or threw frisbees on the Green. For new students on campus, including members of the Class of 2016, hearing the bells for the first time chime to “Hi Ho! Hi Ho!” and “Lean on Me” induces smiles and pleasantly surprised expressions. Visitors, students, and faculty alike are naturally curious to know how the bells work. Continue reading

Library digitizes materials under Digital Library Program

NATHAN YEO/The Dartmouth Senior Staff

Under the Dartmouth Digital Library Program, a wide range of library collections is now available in digital form for free to everyone. The current digital program started about five years ago, and is now starting over again with a more formal program and under a more consistent fashion of digitalizing materials, Peter Carini, College archivist said.

The aim of the program is “make collections more easily accessible and in particular support for teaching,” Carini said. Continue reading