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Davis, California

Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Best study spot: Peter J. Shields Library

Students, staff and community members find Shields Library to be a productive and peaceful environment for completing their work

Peter J. Shields Library aims to provide students, faculty and community members with resources that help facilitate research and learning. It is ranked one of the top academic research libraries in North America, located at UC Davis, one of the top 10 public universities in the nation. This year, 33.7% of students who voted in Best of Davis this year selected Shields Library as the best study spot.

Shields offers a 350,000 square foot space, free for all to utilize as a learning environment and area of collaboration. In addition to being one of the most notable studying spaces on campus, Shields has more than 300 pieces of art on display for the public. It is also home to hundreds of historical archives that are available to all community members and UC Davis students.

The library and the land it was built upon has a rich history. One of the most well-known events was the Army Signal Corps’ use of the library as a training facility during World War II. 

  To this day, the library holds the admiration of Davis students as a study spot and has won in this category in previous years. 

Many UC Davis students take advantage of this space and all of the resources it has to offer. Melia Miller, a fourth-year wildlife, fish and conservation biology major, provided her outlook on the variety of different ways Shields has contributed to her academic success. 

“The place that provides the most convenience when studying is Shields Library,” Miller said. “It’s open, there’s plenty of seating options with minimal distraction. The library has helped shape my study habits when it comes to self-discipline. Deciding to go out and designate time for studying has been really beneficial.”

In regards to the overall ambience of the library, many students share what they like most about studying in this prospective learning hub. 

Rebekah Harness, a second-year neurobiology, physiology and behavior major, shared her beliefs on the qualities that make the library one of the best study spots on campus. 

“The library is really nice because there are lots of different spots to go, whether you want to be by a window, in a quiet corner away from people or in a bigger room with other students,” Harness said. “There are plenty of outlets and lots of bigger desk spaces in case you need room to spread out. It is always very cool and well air-conditioned which is nice in the summer, and students are respectful of the need to keep it a quiet space.” 

Some floors and areas of the library are designated to be quieter than others and even have sections for collaboration as well as socializing. According to Alexandra Schmidt, a second-year applied chemistry major, the learning hub is a productive place to study because it caters to individual needs. 

“Shields is a great place to study because it provides a variety of spots to choose from,” Schmidt said via email. “Every floor and room has a different feel; for example, the main reading room is more open and social, while the upper floors are the most quiet (and in these times, nearly deserted). It’s easy to find an area that you didn’t know existed just by turning a corner, and there’s something for everyone.” 
Written by: Emmanuel Fonseca — features@theaggie.org


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