Library Reviews: Episode 2 – Schulich

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library.mcgill.ca

Schulich is best known as the building in which Ernest Rutherford, of Rutherford Physics Building fame, conducted the research which led to his Nobel prize in chemistry. It officially serves as the science and engineering library, holding books on subjects from aeronautics to zoology. One of Schulich’s more popular features is the fifth floor, on which talking is permitted, making it a popular locale for group studying.

 

Noise Level – The spaced out desks in Schulich, and the different crowd from McLennan make Schulich a pretty quiet library. Every once in a while, however, someone will take a phone call in the vestibule, rather than the stairs – when this happens, you can eavesdrop on the conversation with no difficulty at all. Of course, the fifth floor is much noisier than all other levels. Bottom-Line: Schulich is generally pretty peaceful, however, I’ve heard my fair share of people’s conversations with their mothers whilst idly studying. (4/5)

 

Accessibility  – In between Adams and Burnside, Schulich isn’t hard to find. Valid ID card-holders can cut through McConnell and Adams to get from Milton gates to the library (you need to be an engineering student). Week-day opening hours are pretty generous, with the library open from 8:30 A.M. until almost 3 A.M., however, on the weekends, it doesn’t open until noon, which, as a nerd, has thrown me off a few times. It also closes before midnight on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, so take your late-night studying elsewhere on these days. Towards exams, it stays open later on the weekends. Generally, Schulich isn’t too crowded, but it’s a different story during exam season. Bottom-Line: Schulich’s easy to find, but weekend-warriors might want to take their studying elsewhere, as this library opens late and closes early on Saturday and Sunday. (3/5)

 

Study Setup – Schulich has a mostly uniform set of desks and chairs. Each desk has two plugs and the chairs are pretty comfortable. Without dividers, it’s easy to get distracted wondering which version of Pokemon that person next to you is playing though. If you’re lucky enough to nab a corner desk, kudos, the double space feels very luxurious. Third-floor big tables are nice, but beware of distractions. Schulich has a lack of computers for laptop-less users. Bottom-Line: The desk and chair set at Schulich is pretty good, the only issue is the lack of dividers on some desks, making it feel like you’re being watched. (3/5)

 

Facilities – Like McLennan, Schulich isn’t far from downtown. The closest restaurants are Tim Hortons, Java U, and Cafe Art Java. Only a block away, these places don’t take long to get to. Meal card holders can try the McConnell cafeteria, but its hours aren’t great. With only a couple of bathrooms in the library, it’s a bit far to get to one. Bottom-Line: Coffee is never far when you’re in Schulich. The bathroom kind of is. (3/5)

 

Décor – As an older building, Schulich is quite nice on the inside. With brick walls everywhere, and a large fireplace in the stairwell, it doesn’t always feel like a library. The view from the north and south aren’t great, but a sixth floor seat on the west side gives a great view of campus and the mountain. The bank vault-like door suggests they’re locking up something very valuable in the library each night. Bottom-Line: Rutherford picked a nice building to do his experiments in. As a Nobel Laureate, his office likely overlooked campus, though. (5/5)

 

Overall Appeal – Schulich is a pretty nice library. It’s generally quiet, easy to get to, and rather pleasant inside – well, as pleasant as a library can get. The crowd in the stacks here is drastically different from that in McLennan. On the Maass-Macdonald inter-building tunnel system, Schulich is reachable from most buildings on the south-east part of campus. Bottom-Line: Offering quieter, more attractively decorated study spaces, Schulich is a nice study space. Be wary of short hours, though. (4/5)

 

Total Score: 22/30 [2nd]

Strengths: Décor, Noise Level, Study Setup

Weaknesses: Accessibility, Facilities