My Favorite Libraries

I can’t believe that the first semester of this school year is already beginning to wind down. With the end of the semester, of course, comes preparing for final projects and final exams. Finals can be a stressful time for many students. It is important that you manage your time wisely and pace yourself in order to keep from feeling overwhelmed. While it is totally acceptable to study in your room, if you are like me, your room may offer too many distractions. If I am in my room, I find myself being more tempted to binge-watch something on TV or listen to music rather than focus on my studies. Acknowledging this, I often choose to study elsewhere on campus.

Fun Fact: Did you know that the University of Illinois has one of the largest public university library systems in the United States?

With this information in mind, I have compiled a list of my favorite libraries on campus to study in.

  • The Law Library: In my opinion, the Law Library is the best place to study and the quietest library on campus. Unfortunately, it closes at midnight, and during the later hours of the evening access is restricted to Law students, so if you are the type of student who likes to pull an “all-nighter,” you might want to look elsewhere.

  • Natural History Building (third floor, commons area): Okay, so this isn’t technically a library. However, I think that it is easily one of the most beautiful rooms on campus. It is generally very quiet and I love coming here to study. The Natural History Building underwent a significant renovation only four years ago. The labs and classrooms in this building are awesome but the commons area on the third floor is one of the most beautiful rooms that you can experience on campus. It’s truly a hidden gem.

  • ACES Library: While it is usually a little more populated than the Law Library, it is still a good library for studying; ample table space and overall a very good environment to read and study. Plus, it is also open a little later for the “night owls” like myself.

  • Main Library: The Main Library is a beautiful building. It also houses the Rare Book and Manuscript Library, should you want or need to examine an original document from a specific time period in history or the personal papers of Carl Sandburg, for example. I love going to study here because it has that “classic library” aesthetic that I find pleasing. If you speak to the staff at the circulation desk you can learn about the history and contributions of the celebrated university librarian, Hugh Atkinson.

  • Undergraduate Library: Connected via an underground tunnel to the Main Library is the Undergraduate Library (colloquially known as UGL). The UGL is a great place to come and work on group projects because there are group work rooms that you can reserve in order to work together while remaining undisturbed. Additional bonus: There’s an Espresso Royale here which proves useful for those late night study sessions.

  • Grainger Engineering Library: Grainger is another beautiful library here on campus, and as you will quickly be able to notice, it is one of the most popular libraries for studying. Many students make this location their first study destination, for good reason. It is open 24 hours, very large, and offers amazing views.

Now you know my favorite places to study on campus! I hope that this list will help you when you are looking for a place to tackle those projects, papers, and exams in the future! If you are curious about the University of Illinois library system or would like more information about all of the libraries here on campus, visit the University Library website.



Class of 2019
I am a first-generation, non-traditional, transfer student studying Advertising in the College of Media. I grew up in Pleasant Hill, Illinois and spent nearly 10 years recording and touring all over North America as a professional musician.

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