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Saturday, June 15, 2024

Best study spot: Shields Library

Peter J. Shields Library voted the best study spot


By SABRINA FIGUEROA — features@theaggie.org 


The Peter J. Shields Library is a staple of UC Davis, providing students with free resources that range from academic tutoring to sources for researching niche interests. The library holds 3.2 million volumes, making it the largest library in Yolo County and the third largest in the University of California system.

With 350,000 square feet of space — and an almost endless amount of study areas — the library is an ideal studying spot to get all kinds of work done whenever you need it. Whether students need to “lock in” for exams or simply read, the campus population appreciates Shields Library, securing 52% of the votes for Best Study Spot in this year’s Best of Davis survey.  

Open from 7:30 a.m. to 12 a.m. on most days of the week, with weekend hours being slightly shorter, Shields Library gives both the early birds and night owls time to use its resources. Although the library closes at night, there is still a 24-hour study room with a separate entrance that students may utilize at any time. Many students needing to pull all-nighters to study, or even just students who work better at night, deeply value this resource.

“I study at the library pretty often, almost every day,” Meidy Chirios, a fourth-year political science major, said. “I usually go to the 24-hour study room and spend two hours [there] every time I study [at Shields Library].” 

Shields Library’s lively, populated atmosphere leaves room for both conversation and quiet study time. Chirios shared that she usually chooses to study at the library because she likes to be around people, especially because everyone else is also working hard. 

Alyssa Hu, a second-year microbiology major, also expressed the same point of view. 

“I think the vibe is just right, like, other people are on the grind and it makes me get in the mood for studying. [Plus], I hate studying at home because then I just want to sleep, and going to a cafe is really nice too, but then I feel like I have to buy a drink,” Hu said.  

Sometimes you may even find that the library has lulls where, for a couple weeks, it’s pretty empty and the lively atmosphere disappears. That is, until the dreaded midterm and finals seasons creep up, which drives students back. 

Hu explained that she typically goes to Shields Library to study about once a week, but tends to go a lot more during midterms and finals weeks. 

“It gets so crowded [during exam seasons] that sometimes I have to wander around for a while. The basement usually has some seats open [during this time] but it’s really hot in there,” Hu said. 

However, if you don’t like to be bothered by chattiness — or people in general — and are in need of some intense studying, remember that the library consists of five floors that all have available seating. You’re almost always guaranteed to find somewhere to sit. 

There are even different areas on each floor that allow only a certain amount of noise such as “collaboration zones,” “silent study spaces” and “quiet conversation spaces,” as well as group study rooms that you can reserve online.  

“My favorite thing about the library is that there are private sections that you can study in individually, like the desks with cubbies,” Chirios said.

The infamous “cubby desks” are desks that have privacy panels around them, giving the illusion that you’re in an enclosed space. They’re great for doing intense and quiet studying — or even taking a secret, deserving nap during exam seasons. 

While the majority of students go to the library for their study needs, there are lots of students who appreciate its other services as well.

“Everything here is pretty close together. For example, if I need a printer, I can just go down to the basement level and print out what I need,” Chirios said. “It’s just really convenient.”

Resources include but are not limited to: printing, scanning and copying stations; a plentiful amount of charging ports and portable chargers; desktop computers; special exhibits that change every three to six months; archives and collections of rare books, pamphlets, photographs and many more. 

 Some may even argue an important asset to the library is all of the different settings it provides. Hu emphasized the value of having the opportunity to complete various tasks in the many environments of Shields Library.

“I like how there are so many areas with a different ambiance,” Hu said. “Sometimes I just want to sit at a window with some sun and sometimes I want a big table with a TV for small meetings. There’s everything there.”

Written by: Sabrina Figueroa — features@theaggie.org


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