The bookworm’s paradise

Story by Danielle Ryan and Thom Fountain

L.E. Phillips Library
By Danielle Ryan

If the prospect of studying in an impersonal maze of work stations sounds appealing to you, then the university library is the place to be. However, if you’d prefer to spend your time in a library designed for something other than homework binging, check out your local public library.

The L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library feels as though it exists purely to honor the love of texts of all kinds. Perhaps I’m being too romantic, but I would rather browse the halls of an establishment that exists purely for the enrichment of its community rather than endless aisles stocked to meet the needs of students unwillingly ambushed by coursework.

Don’t get me wrong – the public library is still an excellent resource for non-fiction material. They offer free wireless and shelf after shelf of reference material. Also, because its typical visitor isn’t there for research, competition for their books (and study space) is much less fierce than competition at the university library.

Located near the heart of Eau Claire’s downtown, the public library makes you truly feel like a welcome member of the community. There are displays from local artists and a schedule of offered programs including reading groups, movie showings and book sales. And unlike the university library, the public library doesn’t harass you via e-mail every few weeks when you have an outstanding fine.

My favorite part of the public library is the extensive collection of fiction. There is something downright therapeuticÿabout visiting an establishment that provides an incredible selection of books, CDs and movies simply for entertainment.

The public library is a refreshing change from the study-obsessed atmosphere of campus. It is perfect for finding a quiet corner and settling down for studying. Better yet, if you’d rather use that comfy chair to read something for non-academic purposes, you won’t even feel guilty in the slightest.

McIntyre Library
By Thom Fountain

The McIntyre is convenient and easy for students to access, so why not embrace it?

I mean the public library isn’t that bad (their CD collection is ac-tually phenomenal), but it’s a real inconvenience for students without cars, which I’d say is most of us. Even if you are driving that way, parking can be a fiasco. The McIntyre caters to student needs with long hours, a ton of computers, and specific floors so quiet a sneeze may get you hanged.

On top of that, the McIntyre offers a variety of equipment rentals. If you need anything from cameras to laptops, you’re in luck if you stay on campus. The reference desk also features an extremely helpful staff that can lead you in the right direction for any field of research.

But let’s face the facts. I like to read quite a bit, probably more than the average bear, but that doesn’t mean I want to read in a library. The library is a great place to study or pick up books, but usually it’s a place I want to get in and get out. The library on campus is perfect for stopping in between classes or on your way home. Once you get your book, you can head home and curl up all you want (and your couch won’t close on you at 9 p.m.).