Photo courtesy of A.P. Construction Company
Papers pile up on the desk crammed in the corner of your bedroom as your mom yells from the kitchen to come empty the dishwasher. Your printer beeps and an ‘out of paper’ error message appears, preventing the 25-page ‘Midterm Review Guide’ PDF file from printing.
Midterm tests are undoubtedly stressful, so having a calm and clear environment that will permit focus is essential. In order to obtain this optimal setting, many students turn to the Westport Library.
“It’s a good quiet place to escape the chaos of home, so I guess that’s why I’m here,” Rachel Versano ’21 said. “It’s a place where I can just sit and focus without worrying about other factors.”
Many students agree that their productivity levels at the library are much higher than they would be at their house. The fact that a large portion of the people there are also studying for their exams creates an even better environment.
“The energy feels like everyone is in it together, as far as studying for midterms. It’s a productive energy here at the library,” Henry Skatoff ’21 said.
Eva Simonte ’23 agrees with this idea. One’s mentality when they see someone else working is that they probably should too, and this dynamic forces people to be more focused.
“Everyone else here is doing work, so then you have to,” Simonte said.
Other locations also offer this focus-heavy environment, such as Starbucks and Panera, which are also popular studying spots. However, Jamie Mann ’21 highlights the added benefits of studying at the library rather than one of those alternative locations.
“I think that the library is designed so that you can work in a quiet place and you can have your peace and quiet,” Mann said. “I think that there’s a lot more options of areas you can work, and I think it’s more comfortable.”
He adds that the recent renovations to the library have created a more student-friendly area.
“The way they turned around the library in the past few years has definitely helped with focus,” Mann said. “I think the renovation that happened made it designed so that it can accommodate a lot of students and that it can be a place that fosters creativity and good study habits.”
An added bonus to studying at the library are the various facilities that they offer. In addition to the many group tables, individual desks and comfortable furniture, the Westport Library also has a very unique feature. People are able to reserve small, sound-proof rooms in 90-minute blocks.
Although the rooms can be reserved individually, these rooms are often utilized by groups working collaboratively on projects.
“I think [the rooms] were great if you have a group of people that you’re collaborating on anything with, or if you’re working on projects,” Mann said. “I think it’s a great place because you can speak louder than you would in the rest of the library and that’s really effective. A lot of places don’t offer that.”
Ruby Tarshis ’23 agrees that the library is an ideal place to work with friends.
“It’s just a good place where [my friends and I] can all meet up and study together,” Tarshis said.
Furthermore, during midterm week, the library offers additional activities specifically catered to students studying for midterms. Matt Geeza, the Teen Librarian at the library, explains these activities.
“Brooks Place on the main level of the library will feature de-stressing activities from 3-5 p.m, January 13-16,” Geeza said. “Therapy dogs will be available in Brooks Place on Jan. 13 and 14. Katherine and Rebecca Ross from the Westport Youth Art Collective will lead some art-related de-stressing activities on Jan. 15 and 16 in Brooks Place.”
One final added bonus of studying at the library is the internal cafe, as well as the Starbucks directly across the street. Many people studying at the library can be seen with their Starbucks order in their hand while typing away at their computers,which presents one more reason as to why the Westport Library attracts so many students.
“You can eat and then be fueled for your studying,” Simonte said.
Overall, the Westport Library presents an environment that is optimal for studying. Especially with the new renovations and facilities, the library truly accommodates a wide variety of needs.
“I think the way they turned around the library in the past few years has definitely helped with focus,” Versano said.